Councilman Ed Reyes criticizes Convention Center plan
Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes railed against designers of a new Convention Center exhibit hall Thursday, saying that they failed to account for how Angelenos would benefit from the project and instead have focused on building an international icon.
An architect for the firm Populous presented preliminary renderings of the new hall to a special council committee overseeing the project, as well a proposed downtown football stadium next door. The exhibit hall design would extend existing convention space toward the future Farmers Field stadium and over Pico Boulevard.
The plan includes several new meeting rooms, a large interior multi-purpose space, changes to Gilbert Lindsay Plaza that include twice the amount of green space and additional gardens, along with new ways to use multi-colored lights for signage. The design sports a name change for the venue as well: LACOEX, a short way of saying convention center and exhibition hall.
But Reyes, who represents a working-class community just northwest of the 110 Freeway near the convention center, was mostly unimpressed. He said he wants to see a more comprehensive plan for job creation and economic development that will benefit city residents.
“Lights are nice … but you could do so much more,” Reyes said. “It’s an amazing moment and I feel like we’re letting it slip away. You can’t ignore the people that pay our taxes, and they’re right on the other side of the freeway.”
Councilmembers Jan Perry and Bill Rosendahl were generally positive and said they look forward to more detailed designs. A spokesman for AEG, which is developing the proposed stadium and convention hall, said the firm would meet with Reyes to address his concerns.
Perry noted that an environmental review still has to be approved before the project can proceed.
--Ari Bloomekatz at Los Angeles City Hall
Image: Rendering of proposed L.A. Convention Center exhibition hall. Credit: Populous