Month: February 2017

E3 is opening to the public for the first time

E3 is opening to the public for the first time

After a brief public tease last year that amounted to nothing more than some branded tents and a Doritos stage, the country’s premier video game convention will let the public go hands-on with its overwhelming congregation of upcoming video games and virtual reality headsets.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, will open up a limited number of passes to this June’s convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Consumer passes will go on sale next Monday, February 13, at noon according to the announcement video below.

Tickets will cost $250, with special $150 early bird passes available on Monday, and provide access to the show floor, panel discussions and other events, according to Gamespot. A total of 15,000 passes will be made available to the public—a sizable chunk considering last year’s attendance number topped out at 50,300. It should also be noted that those consumer passes are considerably cheaper than last year’s $995 professional tickets; additional pricing for 2017 has yet to be announced.

E3 has historically only been for industry professionals—from game journalists to software developers—but last year the convention let 20,000 fans into its first free public-facing event, E3 Live. We found the L.A. Live spinoff’s pint-sized tents were a sideshow compared to the Convention Center’s multisensory overload. This year’s consumer pass, though, should give the general public the same hands-on, trade show experience as industry professionals—swag bags, soul-crushing lines and all.

Conversations swirled around the convention’s relevance last year as major publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision, Sega and Disney all decided to vacate their costly spaces on the L.A. Convention Center show floor. This year’s show floor roster has yet to be released.

E3 2017 takes place June 13 through 15 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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One of L.A.’s biggest historic monuments is getting a new lease on life

One of L.A.’s biggest historic monuments is getting a new lease on life

One of L.A.’s biggest historical monuments is about to come out of hiding after 40 years. The Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial recognizes a battalion of U.S. Army volunteers who marched from Iowa to protect the city during the Mexican-American War. The monument itself is giant—400 feet of brick and sculpture—and includes a 77-foot water feature that was turned off in 1977. You’ve probably driven by it, even if you didn’t notice it. It’s on Hill Street, where Chinatown meets the rest of DTLA. Now, L.A. County has allocated the funds to restore the marker, switch the fountain on and bring the monument back to life.

The Mexican-American war started in 1846 when the U.S. decided it wanted to call Texas its own. From there, two years of fighting broke out across the southwest. Local “Californios” were fighting with American forces in Los Angeles when the Mormon Battalion—the only religious battalion in U.S. Army history—was sent to L.A. to build a fort and protect the city. By the time they arrived, fighting was largely over, but the fort was still constructed to maintain order. An American flag was raised at the fort on July 4, 1847. That ceremony is the subject matter of the memorial that still stands on the site.

If that historical incident seems slightly obscure for such a massive monument, it might be explained by the fact that many of the soldiers—along with the women and children they brought along on the march—decided to settle around Southern California and, generations later, several of their descendants had gone on to be prominent figures in mid-20th Century Los Angeles, including one Dorothy Chandler, according to the L.A. Times. In 1958, their ancestors got their monument. 

The same conservationist who oversaw the recent restorations of the Hall of Justice and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, Donna Williams, will manage the Fort Moore project. Some updates to the original design will be made, including refashioning the water feature to just a modest layer of water rather than a full-on waterfall.

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outdoor adventure: San Gabriel River bike trail

outdoor adventure: San Gabriel River bike trail

Cruising’ down the L.A. river without a care in the world.

San Gabriel river bike trail

The beginning of the path near Santa Fe Dam

No doubt you’ve driven down the 605 & seen the familiar scene from your car – bicyclists looking like they are suspended above, cruising by on a concrete path. That path you see – which extends for 28 miles from the canyons to the beach – is the San Gabriel river bike trail.

Starting near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, & cutting  south through Whittier Narrows, Pico Rivera, Downey – & eventually ending at Seal Beach – the path starts east of the L.A river on the north-end, and then stays right alongside it after Whittier Narrows.

We truly can’t think of a better way to get a unique perspective of all that makes L.A. what it is. Along the stretch of trail, you undoubtedly encounter various encampments of people, as well as great parks you can pull into to get some water, take a break, or lay in the grass. One thing that urbanites like ourselves found incredible, was the extent of ranch & rural zoning alongside the river. Throughout much of the first half of the northern stretch, you’ll see horse trails, barns, small-scale farms, & always make sure you say hi to the dudes riding horses along the river bank – who we are always totally jealous of because they usually have a beer in their hand & seem content-as-can-be.

San Gabriel river bike trail

Santa Fe Dam Recreation area

The San Gabriel river bike trail begins (on the north end) right off the 39 in Azusa, but a great spot to catch the trail & begin your journey is the Santa Fe Dam Recreation AreaThe Santa Fe Dam is a great park with open fields, a lake that you can swim in during the summer – but is open all year to fish & rent paddle boats on. Food is limited to concessions, so pack a lunch – & make sure to rent pedal bike if you are with your family, so you can cruise around the path bordering the lake.

San Gabriel river bike trail

View from the bike trail in Pico Rivera

Going south from Santa Fe, you cross through Whittier Narrows park, which is 1500 acres of pure park. With lakes, activities, & tons of amenities – it’s easily one of the best parks, if not the best – in Los Angeles County.

South of Whittier Narrows, the river trail continues along the L.A. river, through a mishmash of rural & urban settings, where you are bound to see a concrete structure – most likely hydroelectric, or a full-on horse stable, all within a few minutes of each other. The juxtaposition of different things to see is what makes this trail amazing overall.

San Gabriel river bike trail

Looking beautiful after a little rain

Depending on which stretch of the San Gabriel river bike trail you’re on, it’s inevitable you’ll see swaths of water occupied by birds, ducks, & other wildlife. Depending on the water levels, sometimes you can cross a ton of animal activity – & you can see that the L.A. river is more than just a concrete bed stretching between the freeways. The pathways are mostly level, with no huge grades – so from a “bike experience level”, it’s totally doable for most levels of expertise. We’re not in the best shape right now, & doing about 10 miles on the trail was easy-peasy. As is the case with any adventure, always keep your wits about you & try to time it so you’re not on the trail too late or once it gets dark. We’re not saying it’s unsafe, but you are separated on all sides for much of the ride, so emergency access isn’t necessarily as good as it would be on the streets or in neighborhoods.

San Gabriel river bike trail

A stretch of the trail near Downey

Whether an avid bicycle enthusiast, or someone who just dusted off the old Schwinn in the garage & you’re ready to take it for a spin – the San Gabriel river bike trail is fun for all ages, & a great way to spend a weekend morning or afternoon. If you plan to do the full stretch from the mountains to the beach, please plan accordingly – as that’s a long stretch & DOES require a bit more experience (or endurance!)

Enjoy! – & feel free to comment below with questions or ideas about this blog.

what is barrio.la?

we remind Angelenos of what “living locally” has to offer.

barrio.la finds local companies making high quality, eco-friendly goods right here in Southern California.

Los Angeles has so much going on & is alive with eclectic neighborhoods, places to see & things to do – so while we’re at it – we keep you in the know about cool things going on in your own ‘hood & the cool people making it all happen.

feel like wandering with us?

cool… ’cause that’s what we do here.

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Desert X has announced its artist lineup and schedule of events

Desert X has announced its artist lineup and schedule of events

Desert X, the hotly-anticipated superstar art event opening in the Coachella Valley this month, has announced its lineup of participating artists and a schedule of opening and preview events.

The collection of site-specific art pieces installed in the desert landscape will be on public view from February 25 to April 30 and features pieces by huge names in contemporary art including Doug Aitken, Lita Albuquerque, Jennifer Bolande, Will Boone, Claudia Comte, Jeffrey Gibson, Sherin Guirguis, Norma Jeane, Glenn Kaino, Gabriel Kuri, Armando Lerma, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Julião Sarmento, Phillip K. Smith III and Tavares Strachan.

Desert X will open to the public in late February, but if you’re already heading out to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, you’ll be among the lucky few to get an advance preview. Pre-opening events kick off on February 17 with an artist panel at the Palm Springs Art Museum starting at 4pm moderated by Steven Biller, the art editor of Palm Springs Life magazine. After the panel, stop by artist Rob Pruitt’s “Flea Market” which will be at the museum through the 26th and opens with a reception from 5 to 8pm. Another panel with artists will be held the following day at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

If you want to support the non-profit art project—while also attending what’s sure to be one of the coolest parties of the season—consider snapping up tickets to the pre-opening gala on February 24 in Rancho Mirage, featuring surprise musical guests and other entertainment. Tickets are $50 to $150; if that seems at all steep, just remember that most of the other events associated with Desert X are free for the public to attend.

While you’ll find art installed in locations spread out across the Coachella Valley, the central hub to start your experience will be the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs. For the duration of the multi-month event they will offer maps, books from several of the presenting artists, and play host to a number of the public events, such as an opening night presentation by artist Julião Sarmento on February 25.

If you’re not going to be able to make it out to the desert this month but want to get a sneak peek at what will be out there (perhaps for a side-trip when you head out to the Coachella music festival?), make your way to the Hammer Museum on February 21 for a lecture by Jeffrey Gibson, bringing a little bit of Desert X back to the city.     

Desert X 2017 runs February 25 to April 30, 2017 at various locations around the Coachella Valley. Check the event website for complete details and event schedule.  

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Black Rabbit Rose opens in Hollywood with magic shows and craft cocktails

Black Rabbit Rose opens in Hollywood with magic shows and craft cocktails

Is there any world the Houston Brothers can’t create? For the past few years, the nightlife moguls have transported us to Paris, Cuba, the ’70s, the ’80s and what feels like countless house parties in the middle of Hollywood. Each bar incorporates an element of magic, whether it’s a hidden door or a secret room. But their latest bar, Black Rabbit Rose, takes the magic up a notch—literally.

Black Rabbit Rose is both a bar and a magic theater, though unlike the neighboring Magic Castle, it doesn’t require connections to get in. It might require some patience, though—the space is small, comprised of just two cozy rooms. In the bar section, craft cocktails are whipped up, like the refreshing Zig Zag Woman or the sultry Dark Arts made with lemongrass vodka, lime, aloe and activated charcoal. In the theater, ticketed shows ($40 per person) run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9pm, and feature magicians, illusionists, burlesque dancers and other performers. The talent is curated by Rob Zabrecky, an entertainer who has worked in magic, music, film and TV.

If dinner and a show is on the agenda, Crying Tiger is located adjacent to Black Rabbit Rose, offering Thai and Chinese food at the bar (during the day, the restaurant offers lunch through a take-out window). You won’t be able to bring food into the theater, but pork buns and lettuce wraps can be enjoyed before or after the show. 

Tickets can be purchased here, though you don’t need to buy a magic show ticket to enjoy the bar. 

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Hollywood’s Redbury Hotel to become outpost of Hospital Club, a private hangout for ‘creatives’

Hollywood’s Redbury Hotel to become outpost of Hospital Club, a private hangout for ‘creatives’

Hollywood’s boutique Redbury Hotel is set to become a members-only club aimed at the creative class.

The building at Hollywood and Vine will be renovated and will open in early 2018. Club LA, the “debut” extension of London’s The Hospital Club, “giving members access to an international network of creatives,” the club said Tuesday in an announcement. Our friends at Eater LA tell us the hotel’s ground floor restaurant Cleo is staying put.

H. Club in Hollywood will offer 36 hotel-style bedrooms available to club members and the public. Hotel guests will get a temporary membership to the club, and have access to all the fancy member amenities:

  • three options for food with “sustainable and locally sourced ingredients”
  • a rooftop restaurant
  • multiple bars
  • an outdoor pool
  • a tea room
  • coworking space
  • a music studio
  • a screening room
  • space for live performances (this one can be enjoyed by guests and members)

The Hospital Club was co-founded in 2004 by Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft. (The London Club’s original location is housed in the former St. Paul’s Hospital in Covent Garden, hence the name.) In June 2016, a company owned by Allen bought the Redbury for $41 million.

The club, catering to creatives with money, will be situated in the heart of Hollywood, where companies including Netflix and Viacom have set up shop.

“Big names are moving into the area. I have been astonished by the level of development. It’s like it’s on the cusp of something exciting that is about to explode and we want to be part of that,” a rep for the Hospital Club told the Los Angeles Times.

The Times says the Redbury will close in July.

If that timeline sticks, h. Club LA will open ahead of another members-only club poised to open in Los Angeles: Soho Warehouse, the Arts District outpost of Soho House. Rich entrainment execs have an appetite for these exclusive clubs. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Soho House in West Hollywood has become the center of the industry, where top players prefer to lunch and make deals.

Investor buys Charlie Chaplin’s bungalow court, plans full restoration

Investor buys Charlie Chaplin’s bungalow court, plans full restoration

Early Hollywood filmmaker Charlie Chaplin built the Chaplin Court bungalows in 1923 on North Formosa Avenue to provide living quarters for cast and crew working at his studio a couple of blocks away on La Brea Avenue.

Over the years, stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and Judy Garland spent time in the tiny bungalows (560 to 700 square feet), which were designed in the then-popular “storybook” style.

The studio is now home of The Jim Henson Co., but the cottages remain at 1328 North Formosa Avenue, looking pretty much the way they did when they were designed by architects Arthur and Nina Zwebell.

The good news is that the cottages have been sold to a local real estate investor, Michael Kesler, who has vowed to preserve them and restore them to their original condition, according to Kesler’s real estate agent, Robert Cipolloni, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. (Cipolloni represented Kesler with sales associate Finneus Egan.)

“He’s a local guy who buys investment properties and favors ones with special meaning and significance,” Cipolloni told Curbed. “He’s an LA native, and he was always going by it as a kid, and when the opportunity came up to invest in it, he took it.” Escrow is expected to close on the property in the next couple of weeks.

The cottages, which were leased to various tenants over the years, came up for sale for $2.5 million in 2015 after owner Larry Davis died. The bungalow court was subsequently taken off the market and was not for sale when Cipolloni approached the Davis estate about a possible sale. Davis’ sister, Marcia Ferstenfeld of Michigan, agreed (for a price that wasn’t disclosed).

“They’re going to restore it,” the Davis estate’s real estate agent, Brian Byhower of RE/MAX Estate Properties, told Curbed. “We’ve had offers by other people that wanted to tear it down, and we didn’t accept those offers.”

Indeed, buildings next door to the Chaplin Court are being demolished, Byhower said: “They wanted to buy our building, too, and we didn’t want to sell it to them.”

Kesler is already contacting contractors who specialize in restoring old houses, Cipolloni said. The bungalows need extensive work on plumbing, electrical systems, termite-damaged wood and the cobblestone paving, among other things, he added. Ultimately, Kesler plans to lease the units out.

The bungalows do not have historic protection, but Kesler will apply for a Mills Act tax exemption, which would require the buildings be preserved, and will consider other historic protection, Cipolloni said. Kesler “wants to hang onto it and pass it down to his family,” he said.

The Chaplin Court is one of several residential developments Chaplin oversaw to house his actors and crew, according to Wehoville:

Chaplin lived in one of the units here, just as he did in each of the other two cottage clusters he built. These quaint apartments also were home to film luminaries like Douglas Fairbanks, who lived here in the 1920s when the movies The Thief of Bagdad, The Black Pirate and The Iron Mask were released, and Rudolph Valentino, who lived at these Chaplin bungalows in the 1920s when his movies The Cobra, The Son of the Sheik and The Eagle were released.

Realtor.com had this bit of history:

Screen legend Douglas Fairbanks also stayed in one of the cottages, and he literally left his mark—a large Z to commemorate his film The Mark of Zorro. …

Elon Musk is digging a tunnel in Los Angeles right now

Elon Musk is digging a tunnel in Los Angeles right now

In December, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted while he was stuck in traffic: “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.” Well, the digging has begun: Wired reports that the excavation began Friday on Musk’s tunnel, which at this point is just a 30-foot wide, 50-foot long, 15-foot deep hole in the ground at SpaceX’s Hawthorne headquarters.

Musk sees tunnels as a possible way to alleviate the traffic he maligned in the Tweet. As Musk explained to Wired in a Twitter direct message, “You have tall buildings, they’re all 3D, and then everyone wants to go into the building and leave the building at a same time … On a 2D road network, that obviously doesn’t work, so you have to go 3D either up or down. And I think probably down.”

Musk has expressed wanting to have this tunnel eventually extend all the way to Los Angeles International Airport, but for now, he’s starting small.

When complete, the tunnel underway in Hawthorne will run from SpaceX’s complex to the company’s parking structure on the other side of Crenshaw Boulevard. The project is on SpaceX property, but the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Musk did get city permits to dig.

Musk, an admitted tunneling novice, seems confident he and his team will learn how to speed up tunneling. At a Sunday press conference for a Hyperloop design competition, Musk stated, “We’re just going to figure out what it takes to improve tunneling speed by, I think, somewhere between 500 and 1,000 percent,” but also admitted, “We have no idea what we’re doing—I want to be clear about that.”

Coachella 2017’s local shows (formerly known as Localchella) include Future Islands, Little Dragon and more

Coachella 2017’s local shows (formerly known as Localchella) include Future Islands, Little Dragon and more

The best alternative to Coachella? Ironically, it comes from the music festival’s own promoter. Each spring Goldenvoice plucks some of the sub-headliner acts into two weeks of club and theater shows across L.A., and a few a bit beyond.

At this year’s local Coachella shows—affectionately known as Localchella, officially and boringly billed as “Goldenvoice Presents April”—Future Islands, Nicolas Jaar, Röyksopp, New Order, Floating Points, Local Natives, Little Dragon, Jamie xx, Empire of the Sun, the Avalanches and more have all been tapped for local shows. And by local, we mean everywhere from Pappy & Harriet’s to the Santa Barbara Bowl, with spots like the Roxy and the Regent in between.

Tickets are already on sale for a couple of shows, but there are three major on-sale dates to keep in mind: February 17, February 24 and March 3. You’ll find the corresponding on-sale dates below.

As in past years, some shows are being promoted under the FYF Presents banner—lest you forget that Goldenvoice’s hometown fest has moved up to July this year. 

In the meantime, here’s the full list of shows in a much more searchable format for your pleasure.

Mar 4

Chicano Batman
The Roxy

Apr 7

Denzel Curry
The Glass House (Pomona)

Apr 8

The Head and the Heart
Arlington Theatre (Santa Barbara)

Apr 11

Banks + Jack Garratt
Fox Theater (Pomona)

Sampha
El Rey Theatre

Apr 12

Crystal Castles
The Glass House (Pomona)

Francis & the Lights
El Rey Theatre

Apr 13

Bishop Briggs
El Rey Theatre

Future Islands
The Roxy

The Head and the Heart
Pappy & Harriet’s

Joseph
Constellation Room (Santa Ana)

Little Dragon
Pappy & Harriet’s

Oh Wonder
The Glass House (Pomona)

SOHN
Fonda Theatre

Two Door Cinema Club
Fox Theater (Pomona CA)

What So Not
The Novo

Young Turks in Palm Springs
With Ben UFO, Four Tet, Francis & the Lights, Jamie xx, Kamaiyah, Sampha, PNL
Palm Springs Air Museum (Palm Springs)

Apr 14

Two Door Cinema Club + Grouplove
Santa Barbara Bowl (Santa Barbara CA)

Apr 17

Banks & Steelz
El Rey Theatre

Bonobo
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Car Seat Headrest
The Regent

Kaytranada
Fox Theater (Pomona)

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
The Roxy

Mura Masa
The Glass House (Pomona)

Nicolas Jaar
Pappy & Harriet’s

Apr 18

Blossoms
The Echo

Bonobo
The Glass House (Pomona)

Breakbot
The Roxy

DJ Shadow
Fonda Theatre

Galantis
The Novo

Glass Animals
Fox Theater (Pomona)

Hinds
The Regent

Little Dragon
The Observatory (Santa Ana)

Mura Masa
El Rey Theatre

New Order
Santa Barbara Bowl (Santa Barbara)

Apr 19

The Avalanches
Fonda Theatre

Bastille
The Novo

Empire of the Sun
Shrine Expo Hall

Future Islands
The Glass House (Pomona)

Glass Animals
Pappy & Harriet’s

Hinds
The Observatory (Santa Ana)

Jack Garratt
The Roxy

Local Natives
Fox Theater (Pomona)

SURVIVE
El Rey Theatre

Tacocat
Constellation Room (Santa Ana)

Apr 20

Car Seat Headrest
Pappy & Harriet’s

Future Islands
Pappy & Harriet’s

Lil Uzi Vert
The Observatory (Santa Ana)

Mitski
The Glass House (Pomona)

Moderat
The Mayan

Pond
The Echo

Roisin Murphy
Fonda Theatre

Röyksopp
The Novo

Swet Shop Boyz
The Echoplex

Whitney
El Rey Theatre

Apr 21

Daphni
Lot 613

Floating Points (Live)
El Rey Theatre

Honne
The Roxy

Jai Wolf
The Glass House

Roisin Murphy
Fonda Theatre

Apr 22

Glass Animals + Little Dragon + Jagwar Ma
Santa Barbara Bowl

Guided By Voices
The Roxy

Whitney
The Glass House

Apr 23

Phantogram
The Glass House

Apr 29

Chicano Batman
The Glass House (Pomona)

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Here’s the new plan for a shorter Plaza at Santa Monica

Here’s the new plan for a shorter Plaza at Santa Monica

The long-discussed Plaza at Santa Monica project, planned for city-owned land in Downtown Santa Monica, has once again resurfaced with a new, slightly pared down design.

The project, which would replace a group of bank buildings and surface level parking lots, has been in development for several years. A city committee initially selected a plan from developer Metropolitan Pacific Capital and designer OMA, the architecture firm headed by Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas. The city council later rejected that option, only to reselect it after an affordable housing component was added.

But city officials still worried that the project had a few too many notes, so to speak, and, as the Santa Monica Lookout reports, the council asked for a height reduction in 2015. Renderings of the smaller project have now been unveiled and members of the public will be able to comment on them in writing until March 2.

Under the new plans, the project will range in height from 19 feet to 129 feet at the peak of its fan-like design. That’s down from a peak of 148 feet in the previous proposal. The new plans have also eliminated more than 200,000 square feet of office space and added 85 hotel rooms.

At this point, the mixed-use development will include 106,000 square feet of creative workspace, a 280-room hotel, 42,200 square feet of retail space and restaurants, 48 units of affordable housing, a grand plaza, two street-level pocket parks, another park on the second floor, and 12,000 square feet of cultural space.

The Lookout notes that even with a scaled-back design, the project may encounter resistance from residents who argue the entire site should be reimagined as a public park.

In November, Santa Monica voters rejected a ballot measure proposed by opponents of the Plaza at Santa Monica Project. It would have forced developers to get voter approval for most projects taller than 32 feet.

Fanciful 52-story tower intended as ‘gateway’ to Downtown Los Angeles

Fanciful 52-story tower intended as ‘gateway’ to Downtown Los Angeles

Bold renderings have emerged for a whimsical 52-story tower proposed for just south of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The tower would hold a mix of housing, hotel rooms, shops, and offices on the site of the Toyota of Downtown LA dealership.

The tower, at 1600 South Figueroa, is intended to serve as a “gateway” to Downtown Joel Miller of consulting engineering firm Psomas tells Curbed.

He said the developer, a parking lot company called L&R Group of Companies, “wanted fanciful designs” for the project because it’s intended to mark the entryway into Downtown from the south. (The site sits just north of the 10 Freeway, widely considered to be the southern boundary of Downtown LA.)

Miller emphasized the renderings are conceptual, but the building is “designed to be a vertical neighborhood,” Miller said, mixing 336 residential units, a 250-room hotel with retail and offices in one visually exciting structure.

According to the Downtown News, the project’s ground level would hold 9,000 square feet of retail space. Above that, there would be 6,500 square feet of office space. The fifth through 18th floors would hold the hotel and its 3,000-square-foot restaurant.

The 19th floor would mark the start of two, separated sections of the project, which would hold residential units. Above that, residential units would continue in the section above those two segments—the part that looks like hanging gardens in the rendering.

Penthouses will go in at the very top of the project, in the section that looks like the structure’s cocktail hat. In all, the tower would hold 202 condos and 134 rental apartments.

Running with the idea of presenting a visual entrance to DTLA, Miller says that the renderings show that the two, distinct residential sections in the project are actually meant to be angled differently than the rest of the building, so they look like a literal door or gate opening into Downtown.

L & R Group of Companies purchased the Toyota lot in April 2016, and filed plans for the tower Wednesday. Psomas is handling the land use entitlements for the project.

A timeline for the project has not been released.

Check out these 14 incredible National Parks within driving distance of L.A.

Check out these 14 incredible National Parks within driving distance of L.A.

There’s never been a better time to show your support for this country’s incredible National Park system. We’re lucky to live in a nation that protects and preserves 59 separate parks (nine of which are in California, the most in any state) totaling 51.9 million acres of land. We highly suggest making the trip to as many of these parks as possible, but have chosen to highlight those within a day’s drive (eight hours or less) from Los Angeles—some are perfect for a day trip; others are better reserved for a road trip or weekend of camping. So get out there and enjoy (before it’s too late!).

Joshua Tree, California

2 hours 30 minutes from L.A.

This exotic desert landscape is populated by thousands of the famous Joshua tree—along with boulders and rock formations that make the views so iconic. Changes in elevation make for starkly contrasting environments including bleached sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, valleys full of wildflowers and giant clusters of granite monoliths. (If you go, check out our guide to the park!)

 

Channel Islands, California

2 hour drive, plus a 1-4 hour boat ride, from L.A.

Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, and half of the park’s area is underwater. The Islands are home to more than 2,000 species of land plants and animals, and 145 are unique to the Islands, including the Island Fox.  

 

Sequoia, California

3 hours 45 minutes from L.A.

This park protects the Giant Forest, which boasts some of the world’s largest trees, General Sherman being the largest in the park. It also has more than 240 caves, a scenic segment of the Sierra Nevada (including the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States), and Moro Rock. 

 

Kings Canyon, California

4 hours 15 minutes from L.A.

This park is home to several giant sequoia groves and the General Grant Tree (the world’s second largest). It also features part of the Kings River, which flows through Kings Canyon, and the San Joaquin River, as well as Boyden Cave.

 

Death Valley, California and Nevada

4 hours 30 minutes from L.A.

Death Valley is the hottest, lowest and driest place in the United States, with temperatures topping an insane 130 degrees. It’s home to Badwater Basin, the lowest elevation in North America. That being said, the park is home to a diversity of colorful canyons, desolate badlands, shifting sand dunes and sprawling mountains, as well as more than 1,000 species of plants, plus salt flats, historic mines and hot and cold spring oases.

 

Pinnacles, California

4 hours 30 minutes from L.A.

Pinnacles is famous for its massive black and gold monoliths of andesite and rhyolite, which are popular with rock climbers, and it’s many quiet trails crossing scenic Coast Range wilderness. The park is home to the endangered California condor as well as a large population of prairie falcons, and more than 13 species of bats living in the park’s caves.

 

Yosemite, California

4 hours 45 minutes from L.A.

Yosemite features towering granite cliffs, dramatic waterfalls and old-growth forests, as well as the rock faces Half Dome and El Capitan, the Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls, the country’s tallest waterfall. Three giant sequoia groves, along with a pristine wilderness in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, are home to an abundance of rare plant and animal species.

 

Zion, Utah

6 hours 30 minutes from L.A.

Geologically diverse Zion boasts colorful sandstone canyons, mountainous mesas and countless rock towers. There are four distinct ecosystems here: desert, riparian, woodland and coniferous forest, plus natural arches and exposed plateau formations.

 

Grand Canyon, Arizona

7 hours 15 minutes from L.A.

The Grand Canyon is carved by the mighty Colorado River; millions of years of erosion and carving by the Colorado River have exposed 277 miles of colorful layers of the Colorado Plateau. The Canyon itself is a mile deep and at it’s widest expanse, 15 miles wide. Grand Canyon National Park is the second-most visited park at 5.5 million visitors per year.

 

Saguaro, Arizona

7 hours 30 minutes from L.A.

This park, part of the dry Sonoran Desert, is home to a great variety of life. Beyond the namesake giant saguaro cacti, there are barrel cacti, chollas and prickly pears, as well as bats, spotted owls and javelinas (hoofed mammals that look a lot like mini boars).

 

Bryce Canyon, Utah

7 hours 45 minutes from L.A.

Bryce Canyon is a giant geological amphitheater on the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The unique area has hundreds of tall sandstone hoodoos (tall, thin rock spires) formed by erosion. The region was originally settled by Native Americans and later by Mormon pioneers.

 

Great Basin, Nevada

8 hours from L.A.

Based around Nevada’s second tallest mountain, Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park contains 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, a rock glacier and the limestone Lehman Caves, and is home to animals like bats, pronghorns and trout. It also boasts some of the country’s darkest night skies. 

 

Lassen Volcanic, California

8 hours from L.A.

This park has four types of volcanoes including Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world. Lassen Peak last erupted in 1915, but much of the rest of the park is continuously active: molten rock heats numerous hydrothermal features including fumaroles, boiling pools and bubbling mud pots.

 

Petrified Forest, Arizona

8 hours from L.A.

This “forest” is made up of a large concentration of 225-million-year-old petrified wood. The surrounding Painted Desert features eroded cliffs of red-hued volcanic rock, dinosaur fossils and more than 350 Native American sites. 

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