Crews led by Turner Construction recently celebrated the “bottoming out” of work on the new $1 billion Wilshire Grand in Los Angeles. This means that the existing 61-yr-old, 1 million sq-ft Wilshire Grand hotel has been completely demolished and a 100-ft-deep, football field-sized hole has been left in its place to make room for the new project.

Developed by Korean Air Lines Co., the new hotel and office project will contain 73 stories and stand 1,100 ft tall, with a distinctive architectural spire at the top. When complete in 2017, it will surpass the US Bank tower as the tallest building in Downtown Los Angeles. Turner also worked on the world’s tallest building, the 2,716-ft-tall Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, which completed in 2010.

Located on the corner of Wilshire and Figueroa in LA’s Financial District, the new 2 million sq-ft Wilshire Grand project was designed by Los Angeles-based architect AC Martin Partners, with structural engineering being led by Brandow & Johnston Inc., Los Angeles.

The project will boast a 900-room, luxury hotel above 400,000 sq-ft of office space and more than 45,000 sq-ft of retail. An 1,100-stall parking garage will occupy seven levels below grade.

The iconic spire atop the structure will sit next to a tactical approach helicopter pad and stand-out among other nearby buildings with flat, truncated tops. Chris Martin, CEO of AC Martin Partners, told me a few months ago that this project means a lot to him because his grandfather designed LA City Hall in the 1920s “and that is the only other building in the city that really has an architectural top,” says “All the buildings in L.A. have flat, so this is going to stand out—and we want it to."

When finished, the spire and exterior skin of the building will be filled with programmable LED lighting.

Now that old structure is gone and the rubble cleared, crews are preparing for one of the largest single concrete pours in Los Angeles history. Lasting approximately three days, the pour will shoot 24,000 cu-yds of concrete into the structure’s 20-ft-thick mat foundation.

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In other project news, the Los Angeles Environmental Engineering firm Terra-Petra announced on November 24 that it has been named as the methane mitigation design engineer and subterranean waterproofing consultant. The company says it will begin work on the mitigation/waterproofing system this month and that they will also be performing the Deputy Methane Barrier Inspection (DMBI) work for the City for the duration of the project