the ever-evolving downtown

Wednesday, July 14, 2004, at 07:45AM

By Eric Richardson

Last week I mentioned that some days my bike ride seems a lot tougher than others. Today it was a breeze.

The L.A. Times today has an article titled "Developers Set to Start Staples Center Project." It talks about the upcoming start of construction on LA Live, the massive entertainment/hotel/housing/shopping project to be built on the north side of Staples Center. The hotel aspect is one of the focal points of the project, and the article today lists a detail I hadn't seen before:

As planned, the 1,200-room hotel is expected to include three components in one high-rise of as many as 55 stories: * 900 guest rooms and the largest meeting space in Los Angeles County under one hotel brand. * 300 rooms above those, under the flag of another, higher-end hotel chain. * As many as 100 luxury condominiums at the very top of the building.

The whole stacked-use concept is kind of cool. I realize the hotels will probably share a lot of management and infrastructure, and so really won't be entirely separate, but it's still kind of funky having two hotels in the same building. And as everything downtown right now, it includes a large dose of housing. The city of LA recently launched a map of adaptive reuse projects downtown, and it's pretty crazy to see graphically what you sort of understand walking around the area. Just the "Under Construction" category includes 2,551 units.

It's a fun time to be downtown.

Update: The Daily News has this similar story that includes some artist's conception drawings of the LA Live project.