Disney To Be City Hub

The city and county of Los Angeles have approved a $1.8 billion plan to build a town center for the City of Angels, to be built around the Disney Concert Hall.

The privately funded project calls for five high-rises, a 16-acre park, supermarket and movie theatre, among other amenities. The area around the new Disney Concert Hall empties at night, and the Grand Avenue Committee, which is shepherding the project, hopes the condos and a 40- to 50-story hotel will build a nucleus for L.A.

“In some ways, Los Angeles has always been a divided city, a divided county,” the committee’s Eli Broad said. “That will all change with the creation of a vibrant city center where people can work, live and play.”

The first phase of construction is slated for December 2006, with an environmental impact review completed by the end of this year. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Estimated the project would bring 5,000 full-time jobs and generate $565 million in annual business revenue.

Now that the Disney Concert Hall has buffed out the offending shine from its reflective metal facade, the proposed hotel and condos will probably not need thermal curtains in the windows. The hall had been the focus of some criticism after neighbors complained its shiny surface heated their apartments.