LA Comes Alive: Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE

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The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE invigorate the revitalization of Los Angeles’ downtown area.

By Stephanie Wilson

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 The iconic tower entails an impressive two million square feet on two and a half acres of prime L.A. LIVE property.

Across the country today, the downtown areas of cities are being revitalized. New York’s financial district is being inundated with luxury locales, as starchitects, top designers, and brands infuse the neighborhood with envy-inducing living environments; Miami’s downtown resurgence has also transformed the skyline in the past five years through the construction of world-renowned residences.

Los Angeles’ downtown district is following suit as it strives to become the Manhattan of the West Coast, with L.A. LIVE, which covers six city blocks, leading the pack. Downtown L.A. is on a path to return to its rightful roots as the live-work-play center of the expansive metropolis.

L.A. LIVE is a major catalyst for this change. The project strives to build upon the monumental success of STAPLES Center, home to the L.A. Lakers, Clippers, and Kings as well as the most popular concerts. Comparable to a “Times Square West,” L.A. LIVE is being developed by AEG, a leading sports and entertainment presenter. The company’s portfolio spans industries and defies definition, as they own or control a broad collection of companies across the U.S. and around the globe, from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles to The 02 in London, one of the world’s most important music arenas. They own sports franchises, operate concert promotion and touring divisions, and present events of every facet on a nationwide scale. Now, they are creating an unmatched live-work-play environment that will drive the masses to-and therefore the economy of-downtown Los Angeles.

L.A. LIVE will entail a four million-square-foot sports, residential, and entertainment district with a price tag that tops out over $2.5 billion. From the NOKIA Theater L.A. LIVE, Club NOKIA, Regal Cineplex, 14 restaurants, and office space to the 54-story, 1,001 room hotel/224 luxury residence building, L.A. LIVE is breathing new life into the district, which is finally stirring after a long period of inactivity due to rampant crime, vagrancy, and other similar factors.

This is not your run-of-the-mill life we are talking about here, either. This is the good life, the haute life…The Ritz-Carlton life. L.A. LIVE will entail not only a Ritz-Carlton hotel, but The Ritz-Carlton Residences, 224 homes that are sure to be the most enviable addresses in town. The company has gone through a rebranding process in recent years as a result of the surging popularity of boutique hotels that have infringed on the luxury market. The wealthy no longer desire plush, overstuffed chairs and gilded gold mirrors; rather, they desire to stay at other worldly contemporary locales created by one of the latest and greatest names in design. But being cool comes with a price: a lack of service. Ritz-Carlton has adjusted their design model and the customers have come running back to embrace the long-revered brand whose name is now just as synonymous with style as it is with service.

The combination of the sports and entertainment district of L.A. LIVE with one of the largest luxury brands in the world results in a value proposition and living experience that is being met with much fanfare. “The overwhelming interest in the project proves the appetite for downtown living, especially for an exceptional residential retreat at the heart of L.A. LIVE,” says Timothy Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, the developers of L.A. LIVE.

The hotel/residences project, which broke ground one year ago, will entail a 54-story tower that will reshape the downtown skyline. The steel and glass building will house The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE, The Ritz-Carlton hotel, and the JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, surely the most exciting aspect of the tower, entail luxuries unseen up until now in the Los Angeles marketplace. Gensler has been selected as the architect for the project, bringing yet another world-renowned name to the board. With notable works dotting the globe, the California-based Gensler has the experience necessary to turn this into a spectacular work of art.

The iconic tower entails an impressive two million square feet on two and a half acres of prime L.A. LIVE property. This collection of 224 residences begins on the 27th floor, stretching to the top of the tower in various bedroom configurations. Owners will enjoy a private entrance and elevator, and have access to a multitude of private spaces, including a residential sky lobby with landscaped terrace and an exclusive residential lounge with a private boardroom and media room. These public areas are going to be clean and contemporary, reflective of the new philosophy of The Ritz-Carlton brand.

Naturally, each home will be outfitted with only the finest amenities and décor. Gensler is also responsible for the dramatic and modern interiors. Residences are available in three various color palettes, while all kitchen cabinets are done by Snaidero and appliances are courtesy of Gaggenau.

The five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel shares its floors below the residences with JW Marriot, a four-star hotel. As such, residents will have access to all the amenities of the hotels, from the dedicated doorman and concierge to the restaurants, private rooftop pool, and fitness center and spa. This hotel combination will serve as the official hotel for the Los Angeles Convention Center, which has already resulted in a surge in convention center bookings for 2010, when it is scheduled for completion. The Ritz-Carlton, the luxury division of the JW Marriot brand, is an ideal partner for this L.A. LIVE project as they bring not only a level of class and prestige to the project, but unprecedented service standards which are being applied to the complex as a whole.

Every L.A. LIVE staff member, from the concierge of the hotel down to the parking attendants for NOKIA Theatre, will go through the rigorous Ritz-Carlton service training, thus ensuring that every step of the way, residents can expect to find white-glove service. They will also enjoy exclusive access to L.A. LIVE’s attractions and events, such as advance invitations and VIP access to all of AEG’s venues, which entails an impressive nationwide list of the top entertainment locales.

Additionally, residents will enjoy the experience of living amidst the action. L.A. LIVE is essentially six blocks of non-stop entertainment, with restaurants, cafes, cinemas, bowling lanes, music clubs, ESPN broadcast studios, and the brand new GRAMMY Museum; the residence center is the final stage of this impressive development.

MacFarlane Partners, an urban development firm that manages more than $15 billion in assets, partnered with AEG on the hotel and residence project, bringing a wealth of experience to the table in an arena that AEG, whose portfolio mainly consists of stadium and entertainment assets, could certainly use.

“Having MacFarlane Partners onboard not only brings tremendous experience and expertise to this project, but more importantly, the confidence that they provide for us is invaluable,” says Lieweke.

MacFarlane is certainly no stranger to the urban landscape of Los Angeles. “Having invested in several properties in downtown Los Angeles over the past five years, we are firm believers in downtown L.A. as a full-fledged 18-hour city with thriving residential, commercial, and entertainment districts,” says Victor MacFarlane, managing principal and CEO of MacFarlane Partners. “L.A. LIVE promises to be one of the most exciting projects in which we’ve invested and it will certainly play a central role in downtown being a place for people to live, work, and play.”

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