Construction is underway for a $4.5-million revamp of the Watercourt at California Plaza.  

The project - funded by California Plaza property owners CIM Group, Omni Hotels, and Rising Realty Partners - was prompted by increased maintenance costs and a need for a more usable space.

According to a report submitted last year to the CRA/LA Governing Board, the sunken plaza's signature water feature has required increasingly costly maintenance.  Leaks from the pond had started to impact the concrete and steel structure which supports the plaza, and a permanent fix was budgeted at more than $4 million.

The design of the Watercourt also proved problematic.  The organizers of Grand Performances, the live event and concert series which makes use of the Watercourt space, sent a letter to the CRA/LA Governing Board noting that the pond, though aesthetically pleasing, created a 43-foot gap between the main stage and the audience.

The result is a revamped space, designed by Gensler, which trades water for new landscaping, potted plants, trees, and outdoor furniture.

Last year, the project's backers estimated that construction would occur over approximately 24 weeks.