Demolition of Downtown LA's Wilshire Grand hotel begins

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

While there were a few sparks Tuesday, officials said there will be no wrecking ball, opting instead for a safer, greener and slower process.

"We take it apart piece by piece and there is $4 million wirth of recycled steel, copper, aluminum, aggregates," said project manager Chris Martin.

The new Wilshire Grand at the intersections of Figueroa Street between Wilshire Boulevard and 7th Street will be more than just another hotel. For one, it will rise 70 stories in the air to make it the city's second-tallest building.

The $1.1 billion project will include hotel, office and retail space and a sky lobby with breathtaking views of the city. The project, developed by Korean Airlines, is expected to create 7,000 new jobs. The completed hotel and office complex is projected to around 2,000 permanent jobs and add $16 million in annual, local tax revenue, officials said.

"For the last three or four years, we've had 30-40 percent unemployment, so this is an opportunity for some of them to go back to work," said Ron Miller of the Los Angeles County Building Trades Council.

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