Last year, the Wilshire Grand claimed the title of the West Coast's tallest building, with a slender spire that peaks 1,100 feet above Downtown Los Angeles.  But a newly proposed tower just up the street seems to be gunning for its crown at the highest tower west of the Mississippi River.

Last week, Chinese developer Shenzhen New World Group filed plans with the City of Los Angeles to redevelop the 1980s L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown at 333 S. Figueroa Street on Bunker Hill.  In addition to converting the existing 13-story hotel into 224 apartments, the proposed development also calls for the construction of a soaring 77-story tower which would rise to an apex nearly 1,108 feet above ground level.

Los Angeles-based Dimarzio | Kato architecture is designing the L.A. Grand redevelopment, would contain a total of 599 hotel rooms, 242 condominiums, 28,705 square feet of commercial space, and 36,674 square feet of hotel amenities - including a bar occupying its top two floors.  Renderings portray a slim glass-and-steel structure, rising above 552 parking spaces on seven basement levels.  Plans also call for a series of gardens, event terraces, and swimming pools.

The project would replace the existing hotel's event and conference center, but allow an existing boarding high school to remain in place.

New World Group entered the Southern California scene in 2010 with its $60-million purchase the L.A. Grand Hotel, and followed with its purchase of the Sheraton Universal Hotel near Universal Studios in 2011.  Both properties are now slated for redevelopment.

The L.A. Grand Hotel project could potentially bring Los Angeles' fourth tower rising 1,000 feet or more in height, following the U.S. Bank Tower, the Wilshire Grand, and the proposed Angels Landing development.

The project is one of a handful of large developments coming to Bunker Hill, including a proposed 41-story tower directly across Figueroa Street.  This includes the impending groundbreaking of a Frank Gehry-designed complex across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall.