by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | March 01, 2006

L.A. Live



Urban renewal: A rendering of L.A. Live

After years of being passed over, Los Angeles is finally ready to play hardball for convention business lost to cities such as Anaheim and San Diego. City officials are betting that L.A. Live, the $4.5 billion downtown multi-use development, which broke ground last September after 30 years on and off the drawing board, will give them the edge they need.
    “Los Angeles has not been on the radar for many meeting planners for a long time, because downtown is just not perceived as pedestrian-friendly,” said Katie Callahan-Giobbi, senior vice president of sales for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. “But this project is helping us to make really big strides to remedy that.”
    Being developed on 27.3 acres near the Staples Center arena, L.A. Live will feature restaurants, retail shops and movie theaters, as well as the 30,000-square-foot Grammy Museum and the 7,100-seat NOKIA Theatre. Anchoring the project will be a 1,100-room convention center headquarters hotel offering 70,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Budgeted at more than $600 million, the convention hotel also will include a 200-room luxury property, as yet unflagged. 
    According to Callahan-Giobbi, the development has given the CVB a whole new marketing focus. “People are ready for another West Coast option, and we think that L.A. can now provide that,” she said.