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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RTKL-masterplanned L.A. LIVE Receives Award

Los Angeles Business Council honors RTKL-masterplanned mixed-use entertainment district

LOS ANGELES—June 29, 2010—Calling it the most meaningful economic development project in 20 years, the Los Angeles Business Council has honored L.A. LIVE with its Community Impact Award, a project masterplanned by global architecture, engineering and urban design practice RTKL.

“L.A. LIVE is the type of urban development that changes a city’s trajectory and sparks regeneration of the highest order,” said Norman Garden, AIA, LEED AP, RTKL senior vice president and director of the firm’s Commercial Practice Group. “Having been involved since the earliest stages of planning over a decade ago, RTKL is thrilled to see L.A. LIVE receive this level of recognition.”
The award, presented at the 40th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, recognizes the $2.5 billion, four-million-square-foot development for its role in reinvigorating a major downtown metropolis and creating a premier 24/7 Live, Work, Play Community for the city. RTKL has been deeply involved with L.A. LIVE since 1999, when it began preparing the 33-acre master plan and securing entitlements for what was then a span of parking lots and warehouses. As a result of extensive collaboration among Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the City of Los Angeles and RTKL, L.A. LIVE has transformed the area into a vibrant urban district and economic engine. 
Situated adjacent to the STAPLES Center and Los Angeles Convention Center, this strategically important development was completed in three phases. The first phase - opened in October 2007 – features NOKIA Theatre (a 7,100-seat performance venue), and NOKIA Plaza. The second phase designed by RTKL includes ESPN’s west coast broadcasting center and ESPN Zone, and the main entertainment building containing AEG’s headquarters, numerous restaurants, Club Nokia and the Grammy Museum. The last phase, recently opened, includes the JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences, a 14-screen Regal Cinemas, and meeting and ballroom spaces.
“It’s the most meaningful economic development project we’ve seen in the past 20 years,” Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council, said. “It’s reinvigorated downtown. It’s given L.A. the economic engine and infrastructure to be competitive at our convention center. It’s everything we would hope for in a public-private partnership in Los Angeles.”
RTKL’s planning and urban design scheme creates a dynamic urbanist-inspired civic gathering place—a place that features a dense mix of uses and people, active most hours of the day and night. Providing unparalleled access to unique entertainment, shopping and dining experiences, L.A. LIVE is a new entertainment destination in the world’s entertainment capital.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

AIA Bestows Honor Award to Nadel Architects Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—June 22, 2010—The American Institute of Architects San Francisco Chapter (AIA) recognized Nadel Architects with the Historic Preservation and Innovation in Rehabilitation HONOR Award for the company’s revitalization design work on The Richmond Civic Center. This is a new category introduced at the 2010 AIA San Francisco Design Awards and the first time this award has ever been presented.

“The scope of the design is arguably the most significant historic rehabilitation of any civic project in California in decades,” said Michael Walden, design director, Nadel Architects. “The revitalization has significantly restored the central business district by bringing critical city administrative functions back to downtown Richmond and introducing sustainable components to the center. The historical master plan along with its campus of buildings, first conceived by architects Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler in 1949, then later designed and completed by San Francisco’s most famous civic architect, Timothy L. Pflueger, were well preserved.”

The revitalization of Richmond Civic Center included restorations to the Civic Auditorium, 440 Civic Center Plaza and City Hall –the latter two buildings have both achieved LEED Gold certification. The third building is pending Platinum certification. All three buildings suffered severe damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Major sustainable elements of the project included seismic upgrades, bioswales, secured bicycle spaces, drought-resistant landscaping, heat island reduction, low-flow plumbing, energy-efficient high performance heating and cooling systems, photovoltaics, low-emitting materials and controlled lighting.

Large portions of the existing walls, floors and ceilings were reused to preserve much of the original structure. Both the site and the many new elements added to the campus, such as a glass-roofed colonnade, also incorporated the cubic, linear and transparent forms that are consistent with the mid-century modernist architecture found in the original design. Nadel designed for state-of-the-art audio and video capabilities, as well as data and power provisions within the 80,000 square feet of added space for city, staff and council members. Final completion of the Richmond Civic Center was right on schedule in May 2009 and within the development budget of $89 million.

The 2010 AIA San Francisco Design Awards which aims to recognize outstanding design contributions in the Bay Area was held at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center and hosted by board president, Bill Roger and Sarah Lynch, editor in chief, California Home + Design. All winning projects will be on display at the Architecture and the City Festival, which will be held at 3A Gallery in Francisco this September.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

McCarthy & Heery Int'l Featured in REBisnow

In today's Real Estate Bisnow e-blast, McCarthy's 31,000-square-foot, $20 million South Health Center design-build was covered during last Friday's site groundbreaking at LA County's Martin Luther King Jr.'s hospital.

In addition, Dick Jones of Heery International was also featured and quoted in a blurb about his construction work at Moorpark College's teaching zoo.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chris Cooper is Named CEO of Charles Dunn Company

The real estate veteran is tapped to provide strategic leadership 

LOS ANGELES—June 7, 2010—Chris Cooper, a 24-year real estate industry veteran, has been selected to serve as CEO of Charles Dunn Company, one of the largest full service regional real estate companies on the West Coast.  Formerly the senior managing director and western U.S. area leader for Cushman & Wakefield of California, Inc., in his new position, Cooper, 50, will be responsible for providing operational and strategic leadership for both property management and brokerage divisions in the firm’s nine offices in California, and one in Phoenix.
Walter Conn, who formerly held the position of CEO, will remain as Chairman of the firm. “The move to bring Cooper to Charles Dunn provides the leadership to further integrate the company service groups, to heighten the level of service to our clients, and to move the company forward,” said Conn.
“The Charles Dunn Company and I have had a long-term relationship with Chris as a client when he was an attorney, as well as on a personal level,” said Conn. “His credentials as a real estate attorney and his wide-ranging experience in managing and providing strategic leadership on all fronts of our industry will give us the tools to navigate the company into the future.”
Day-to-day responsibilities will shift to Cooper, who will be working out of the downtown office. Darrell Levonian and Patrick Conn continue to head the brokerage and property management divisions as president of their respective divisions.
“I’ve known Walter for a long time, and my deep respect for this legendary company goes way back,” said Cooper.  “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help leverage the company’s long-standing reputation and history within the real estate community. I look forward to contributing in helping Charles Dunn grow.”
Cooper, who also holds a law degree, was with Cushman & Wakefield since 2005. Prior to Cushman, Cooper was an executive vice president with Jones Lang LaSalle, where he started in 1997. Before joining Jones Lang LaSalle, he worked for 11 years practicing real estate law and representing public and private sector clients in different areas of commercial real estate and finance law.
Cooper comes to Charles Dunn with a wide range of expertise in leasing, construction, acquisitions, sales, development, and finance, as well as the management and delivery of integrated corporate real estate services to many of the Fortune 500 Companies. In addition, he has acted as lead real estate counsel on large transactions, including the development, leasing, acquisition and financing of major health care facilities. With an impressive track record that includes the closing of a wide range of commercial real estate transactions valued in excess of $3.5 billion, his client list is a who’s who of publicly and privately held clients.
Cooper holds a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University. He is a licensed real estate broker in California and a member of the State Bar of California.