wilshire grand los angeles rendering

Rendering of the new Wilshire Grand Hotel (Los Angeles Times photo)

Plans for a new 73-story tower in Los Angeles that will significantly alter the downtown skyline was recently unveiled by Korean Air. Upon its completion in 2017, the new Wilshire Grand Hotel will surpass the U.S. Bank Tower in Bunker Hill as the tallest building west of Chicago.

According to the Los Angeles Times, crews have already begun to dismantle the old Wilshire Grand Hotel on Wilshire and Figueroa, which was built in 1952. In its place will rise a sleekly-designed glass-clad building with a sloped-roof that is one of a kind in Los Angeles. Korean Air had to gain approval for the roof to get around a local fire safety ordinance that requires all buildings have a flat-roof that allows helicopter access in case of emergencies. Instead, there will be a smaller heli-pad on the iconic “sail” portion of the building rather than on the actual roof.

The Wilshire Grand will be 1,100 feet tall upon its completion, which is slightly higher than the 1,018 feet of the U.S. Bank Tower that is currently the tallest building in the western United States. It will feature restaurants on the three ground floors and 40 floors of office space. The hotel, which does not yet have a operator, will have 900 rooms. There will also be a “sky lobby” on the 70th floor where guests will check in after taking “one of the fastest dual high-speed elevators in the world.” The top floor of the glass-clad building will include an “infinity” swimming pool and recreation area.

Los Angeles architect David Martin designed the tower. The Times reports he previously designed the high-rise across the street from the Wilshire Grand in 1990.