By WILLIAM M WELCH
LOS ANGELES — A new addition to the city’s skyline, a hotel and office project that will become the tallest building in the western United States, starts its slow rise this month with a bid for the record books.
The 73-story, 1,100-foot tall Wilshire Grand project represents a $1.1 billion private investment by a Korean conglomerate in the city’s downtown, long an area of neglect but now experiencing a development revival.
“It will give downtown Los Angeles a new identity,” says José Huizar, a City Council member representing the area. “It’s going to help reshape the downtown skyline in a good way.”
After spending more than a year demolishing the old hotel on the site and digging a 100-foot hole for the building’s footings, architect and project manager Chris Martin says workers plan to pour the concrete foundation in one huge effort Feb. 15.
The project will attempt to set a Guinness World Record with the largest continuous concrete pour ever, Martin said. More than 2,100 truckloads will deliver 21,200 cubic yards of concrete weighing 82 million pounds…