Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, has been selected by architecture firm AC Martin to design the façade access system for Wilshire Grand, a $1 billion 73-story skyscraper that will be built in downtown Los Angeles.

The exterior maintenance systems designed by Lerch Bates for Wilshire Grand will enable safe and efficient access to all of the skyscraper’s exterior façades for building maintenance. Lerch Bates has provided façade access designs for other landmark buildings throughout Los Angeles including the U.S. Bank Tower, Disney Concert Hall and Getty Center.

“Wilshire Grand is arguably one of the most exciting high-rise projects going on right now in North America,” said Jeff Marsh, Lerch Bates’ director of business development. “Lerch Bates is recognized around the world as the most innovative designer of exterior maintenance equipment. Our façade access designs ensure the highest degree of equipment effectiveness and are made to be compatible with the artistic high-rise towers that are being developed today. Wilshire Grand is one of those projects that will not only be a challenge for us but will be a welcomed addition to our extensive list of skyscrapers around the globe that features façade access equipment designed by Lerch Bates.”

Being developed by Korean Air Lines Co., Wilshire Grand will be the tallest building west of Chicago when it is expected to be completed in early 2017. The glass-clad tower, to be constructed in the city’s financial district and just blocks from the bourgeoning entertainment district that is anchored by the Staples Center and L.A. Live, will include a four-star hotel as well as 400,000 square feet of office and 45,100 square feet of retail space. The 73-story Wilshire Grand will feature a soaring spire that will raise the total height of the skyscraper to 1,100 square feet, rising 82 feet higher than the 1,018-feet U.S. Bank Tower, completed in 1989 and is the tallest building on the West Coast and the 10th tallest in the United States. Construction of Wilshire Grand is slated to begin later this year at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street, former site of the Wilshire Grand hotel that closed in 2011 and is currently being demolished.

A much anticipated updated design of the skyscraper was unveiled on Feb. 7 by AC Martin, a Los Angeles based family owned architecture firm that has designed many landmarks throughout the city including Los Angeles City Hall in the 1920s. The hotel, with a yet to be announced four-star operator, will occupy the upper floors of the Wilshire Grand. Hotel guests will travel by high-speed elevators up to the sky lobby located on the 70th floor to check into their rooms, a high-rise design that is unique in the City of Angels. The 71st floor will feature a restaurant and the top floor of the tower will showcase an infinity swimming pool and a recreation area. The first three floors of Wilshire Grand will include restaurants and shops and the next 30 floors will house leased office space.

In lieu of a typical downtown Los Angeles skyscraper that has a flat roof dominated by a helicopter landing pad, Wilshire Grand’s will feature a beautiful 100-foott tall glass pediment. The project is expected to create more than 11,000 construction jobs and contribute $80 million in tax revenue during its development and 1,700 permanent jobs and $16 million in annual revenue when completed. AC Martin has designed the building to meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED® certification standards. Turner Construction Company will oversee the construction of Wilshire Grand and Cushman & Wakefield has been chosen as the leasing agent.

“Lerch Bates is the recognized around the world as the premier façade access consulting firm,” added Marsh. “Celebrating more than 65 years in the industry, we have consulted on the construction of many of the world’s tallest buildings including the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai, 1,667-foot Taipei 101 in Taipei and 1,483-foot Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Being selected to give our unique expertise to the building of World One is truly an honor and a challenge that we are ready to tackle.”