AEG Provides a Sneak Preview of L.A. Live

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Entertainment Complex Los Angeles

AEG presented their vision for a game-changing DTLA entertainment complex in 3D.

On Monday afternoon, AEG invited a group of L.A. bloggers to their Ritz-Carlton Residences model home to let us know what’s in store at L.A. LIVE, a game changing downtown development. The mixed-use venue will host “more live music per square inch than anywhere in the world,” to quote AEG VP Michael Roth. It will also showcase plenty of dining options, which is why L.A. Live warrants mention on Food GPS.

We received three hours of information and were treated to pepper-crusted filet mignon on crostini, caramelized coronets filled with spicy tuna, Parmesan crisps topped with pear and Mascarpone and hand-carved Prime rib, to name just four options prepared by Wolfgang Puck’s catering division.

AEG’s Shelby Jordan explained that L.A. Live has been in the works since 1997. The entertainment district was always part of the company’s master plan to bolster the section of downtown surrounding the Convention Center.

The first phase of L.A. Live took place on October 18, 2007, with the opening of NOKIA Theatre. The Eagles and the Dixie Chicks performed to inaugurate the 7,100-seat venue, which has since hosted the ESPY Awards and other award shows.

Restaurant wise, Lucky Strike will open November 6, followed by ESPN Zone on Thanksgiving weekend. The first weekend of December, the majority of the other eating venues will debut, including Farm of Beverly Hills, Flemings Steak House and Wine Bar, Lawry’s Carvery, New Zealand Ice Cream, Rock ‘N Fish, Yard House and The Conga Room.

In the first quarter of 2009: Katsuya, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, Trader Vic’s and Manhattan-import Rosa Mexicano will open. So will the ESPN studios, which Shelby Jordan said will allow for sports broadcasts that originate on the West Coast, and not just Connecticut.

CLUB NOKIA, a three-story, 2300 seat live music venue, will open on November 10 with a performance from local indie giant Beck.

December 6 will usher the arrival of the GRAMMY Museum. Katie Dunham, the Museum’s Public Relations Coordinator, said that unlike The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Experience Music Project, the GRAMMY Museum will be cross-genre, with less history and more interaction.

The final phase of L.A. Live will conclude in early 2010 with the opening of the JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, plus a 14-screen Regal Cineplex.

The Ritz-Carlton will host a two-story restaurant, lounge and bar on the 25th and 26th stories of the 52-story building. The AEG representative said that they’re working to finalize an arrangement with a top-level local chef to not only development a menu for the restaurant, but also for room service for the residents. There will be food service on the pool deck, which will be on the 26th level. JW Marriott will have a three-meal restaurant.

The economy is in shambles, but L.A. still houses plenty of people with serious earning power. As a result, 60% of the 224 Ritz-Carlton residences have already sold, accumulating $260 million in sales. Each residence costs $3-6 million apiece, if you’re interested.

Given the scope of the development, AEG has been grilled about parking options. Tammy Billings, Director of Special Projects, said there will be 3500 parking spaces on site, and 20,000 parking spaces within a 10-minute walk of L.A. Live.

L.A. Live’s Grand Opening will be the first week of December. There will be 31 straight days of free activities at L.A. Live, open to the community. Entertainment will begin at noon and 5 PM daily. Beginning December 4, “The Light of the Angels” LED show will run nightly at 7, 8, 9 and 10 PM. Each seven-minute spectacle will feature live music accompaniment.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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