Last week, the Downtown News reported that newly formed developer Mack Urban plans to construct hotel and residential towers on surface parking lots surrounding the AT&T Center.  According to a recent case filing with the Department of City Planning, the $750 million mixed-use project's first buildings will be two high-rise structures at the northeast corner of 12th Street and Grand Avenue.  The first tower, containing 461 residential units and 8,700 square feet of ground level retail space, would rise 41 stories at 1120 Grand Avenue.  The second, a 300-room hotel with 8,610 square feet of commercial space, would stand 12 stories high.  Designed by AC Martin, the joint venture between Mack Urban and AECOM would join the Wilshire Grand Center in utilizing the Los Angeles Fire Department's newly relaxed rooftop helipad policy.  Representatives of AC Martin previously informed the Architect's Newspaper that at least one building in the decade-long project would feature a "'sculpted' top."

Since a full build-out of the development's 1,500 residential units is not expected until 2024, later phases are understandably not as far along in the design process.  However, a preliminary massing created by AC Martin portrays a mixture of low-rise and high-rise structures on Mack Urban's other properties.  Several of these parcels were entitled for development under different ownership prior to the real estate crash (see below image).  Mack Urban's phase one site was originally intended for Indigo, a 42-story condo tower proposed by now-defunct Meruelo Maddux Properties.  The new AC Martin-designed project is comparable in scale to Meruelo Maddux's vision for the parcel, but its street level implementation is strikingly different.  Whereas Indigo would have covered most of the property with an above-ground parking structure, Mack Urban's project will instead focus on pedestrian engagement.  According to architect David C. Martin, plans call for "ground-level open space, outdoor cafes, arcades, paseos, and secret gardens...." As further evidence of this change in philosophy, parking accommodations will be hidden underground.

In addition to Mack Urban, a litany of other developers have also zeroed in on this section of South Park during the past year.  On the opposite side of 12th Street, Beverly Hills-based developer Sonny Astani plans to break ground on a 640-unit low-rise project later this year.  Across Grand Avenue, another seven-story mixed-use development is planned for the former site of the Ponet Square Hotel.  A short walk east, Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises recently purchased two development sites adjacent to the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.  Although Forest City's plans are currently unknown, previous entitlements called for two towers of 24 and 37 stories.  For better or worse, reports indicate that Morphosis won't be sticking around to design the new iteration of the project.