Dismantling of Controversial LAPD Building Set to Start

Large LA police department office building

In Parker Center’s place, $700 million civic office tower to rise 27 stories
The long-awaited tear-down of the the Parker Center, the former Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, is scheduled to start this month, making way for a new Downtown office tower on the site.

After months of delays, rising budgets and pushback from preservationists, Silverado Contractors Inc. will finally dismantle the eight-story building at 150 N. Los Angeles St., which is steeped in history and controversy dating back some 70 years, according to Rafu Shimpo, the Los Angeles Japanese news outlet.

Silverado, based in Oakland, will need to mitigate a number of hazardous materials in the circa-1950s building, including asbestos, but expects to finish the demolition project in late 2019, at a cost of $16.7 million.

In Parker Center’s place, a $700 million civic office tower will rise 27 stories above street-level retail and include 1,200 underground parking stalls.

Mahmood Karimzadeh, principal architect with the city’s bureau of engineering, did not give an estimated date for the project’s completion during an informational meeting in July, according to Rafu Shimpo.

Parker Center was named after William Parker, who was sworn in as L.A.’s chief of police in 1950, and who remained in the position until his death in 1966, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was a controversial figure who brought positive transformation to the department, but who also became a symbol of the department’s racist past.

The destruction of the Parker Building was largely welcomed by civil rights activists and members of the Japanese-American community, which had businesses displaced when the building was constructed in the early 1950s. Through eminent domain, the city used land that was home to several Little Tokyo businesses as the site of the former police headquarters.

Other groups, including the Los Angeles Conservancy, opposed the Parker Building demolition and fought to make it a landmark. It was designed by Welton Becket, known for his post-World War II architecture style, which can still be seen in several 1950-era L.A. landmarks, including the Capitol Records building.

The Coalition to Preserve L.A. is currently gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would transform the site into homeless housing named for L.A.’s late Mayor Tom Bradley.


Hotel Crescent Court Renovation Welcomes New Champagne Bar

Bottle of Moet & Chandon with champagne flutes in background

Hotel Crescent Court in Uptown Dallas recently opened Beau Nash, an upscale champagne bar and cocktail lounge. The opening of the venue is just one part of a $30 million property-wide renovation. The champagne bar pays homage to the see-and-be seen restaurant of the same name which operated in the hotel from 1986 to 2004 and is situated among the marble floors and tall limestone columns of the hotel’s Great Hall on the lobby level.

The menu at Beau Nash consists of more than a dozen craft beers including Texas-made favorites from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Community Beer Company of Dallas, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company of Houston. The list of signature cocktails includes many made with champagne such as the Uptown ’86 made with Absolut Elyx Vodka, Grand Marnier, peach pureé and G.H. Mumm Brut Champagne. Beau Nash offers an extensive list of wines, champagnes and sparkling wines from $50 per bottle up to $170 per bottle. The bar also features a large selection of scotch, whiskey and cognac.

The food menu features a selection of salads, small plates, large plates and desserts. Hungry bar guests will not be disappointed by cuisine offerings such as jumbo lump crab cakes, Tsar Nicoulai caviar and grilled tenderloin of beef with baked potato and caramelized Texas mushrooms. Finally, patrons can complete a great meal with one of the bars decadent deserts like the champagne sorbet, Vahlrona Chocolate fondue or the Ott sundae made with brownies, cookies, toasted marshmallows, toffee sauce and candied pecans.

For 30 years the 186 guest room and 40 suite Hotel Crescent Court has anchored The Crescent, an 11-acre mixed-use development offering dozens of retail stores and restaurants as well as easy access to the Dallas Arts District. The hotel offers many amenities including The Spa at The Crescent, a fitness center and rooftop pool. For meeting planners, the hotel provides nearly 24,000 square feet contained in 17 different spaces which can accommodate seated events of up to 250 people and receptions for up to 500 guests.

“Beau Nash, Hotel Crescent Court’s new champagne bar and cocktail lounge, is the ideal place for hosting groups and events of various sizes. The dynamic space is sophisticated, yet casual and approachable, creating a multidimensional setting that inspires all. It’s situated on the lobby level of the hotel, making it easily accessible and an equally appealing venue for family celebrations, company happy hours, private parties, community celebrations, business mixers and more. The entire Hotel Crescent Court team makes private events their top priority with the goal of exceeding our client’s expectations,” says Andrew Davidson, general manager for Hotel Crescent Court.

Hotel Crescent Court is located less than five miles from downtown Dallas, 15 minutes from Love Field and 30 minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The hotel offers a courtesy car within a five-mile radius which is subject to availability. Beau Nash is open seven days a week for hotel guests as well as locals and the dress code is smart casual.

All Roads Lead to KC

Cityscape photo of Kansas City featuring Union Station

Kansas City breaks tourism records, focuses on drawing meetings and events

The Huffington Post named Kansas City THE COOLEST CITY IN AMERICA.

Travel + Leisure ranked KC as the No. 1 affordable getaway five years in a row. Yelp rated the Nelson-Atkins Museum as the best in the country. The city’s top chefs keep winning notoriety and its makers and doers, like Baldwin Denim and Christopher Elbow Chocolates, keep creat- ing a nationwide buzz. And if there was an award for making visitors feel like locals, Kansas City would grab that title, too.

It’s no wonder the Kansas City region welcomed 25.2 million visitors in 2016, a new record for the destination. The number of visitors grew 2.1 percent from the previous year. This growth in travel is just one of the new findings from research commissioned by Visit KC, the city’s hospitality and tourism organization.

Conducted every two years by the firms of Tourism Economics and Longwoods Inter- national, the studies examine the economic impact of tourism and the profile of travelers to the Kansas City region, as defined by the counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte, Johnson and Wyandotte. The research supports the conclusion that meetings, conferences and events remain a vital and growing compo- nent of the Kansas City economy.

“Kansas City has accelerated the im- provement of new products that enhance the resident and visitor experience, making the destination more vibrant than ever,” said Ronnie Burt, Visit KC President & CEO. “Our new streetcar [which connects downtown hotels, venues and the conven- tion center] has already exceeded ridership expectations and our walkable convention district puts groups right in the heart of the city. Add in our lively arts and culture scene and it’s clear that the future of Kansas City’s tourism industry is bright, and we’re excited to continue building upon this wonderful momentum.”

Among the Other Findings in the Economic Impact Study:

• Visitor spending grew to a record $3.4 billion in 2016, growing 8.9 percent since 2014. This number has now grown for seven straight years.

• Tourism generated a record $5.5 billion in economic impact for the region, including indirect and induced spending.

• Visitors to Kansas City spent $926 million at hotels and motels in the region in 2016—$21 million more than in 2015.

Tourism-generated employment reached a new high of 47,936 jobs, with 1 in 19.6 area workers sustained directly or indirectly by the industry, continuing a multi-year growth trend.

In 2016, tourism to the region generated $380 million in state and local taxes, which in turn saved each area household $550 in taxes.

The new research also shows continued growth in tourism spending throughout the metro. Jackson County accounted for nearly half of visitor spending in the Kansas City region at 47 percent. Tourism dollars in Johnson County contributing another 23 percent and Wyandotte County accounted for at least 6 percent (holding steady from 2014).

In Addition to Gains on the Economic Front, The 2016 Visitor Profile Study also Revealed the Demographic Makeup of Kansas City’s Average Traveler:

• The average overnight visitor is trending younger, with 49 percent of total overnight travelers in the 25-44 demographic.
• Seventy-five percent of travelers stay in a hotel, motel or bed & breakfast.
• Seventy-five percent of visitors travel to the area using their own vehicles (16 percent reported using a rental car).
• Kansas City’s largest origin markets by state are California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

“Tourism is an economic engine for the state of Missouri,” said Burt. “Our visitation numbers and visitor spending keeps growing and the nation is taking notice. As we continue to add new attractions, restaurants and hotels and secure conventions, major concerts and sporting events, Kansas City gives visitors more reasons to come back again and again.”

My Favorite Travel Products

Woman on floor packing suitcase

Hit the road in style—and comfort—with these accessories

No matter what type of trip you’re taking—a destination event or a conference like Emerge 2018—one of the most stressful parts of travel can be deciding what you need to take with you.

Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a few must-have items for a variety of uses (most notably, comfort) that you may want to squeeze into a carry-on, weekender bag or the trunk of your car.

From a surprisingly stylish travel pillow (no kidding!) toahome-away-fromhomeforyournextbigadventure, these are trendy and timeless necessities for every good traveler to have on hand, at least once in awhile.


REMODEEZ: Wish you could wash your clothes while traveling—or at least Febreze your suitcase? No worries! The remodeez product line neutralizes odor naturally by using activated charcoal to absorb smells. It’s a great solution for shoes, garments, luggage and hotel rooms, too! [remodeez.com]

HYDAWAY: You’ll love this reusable, collapsible water bottle that folds to just over an inch high. Carry it through airport security and then fill it with water wherever you go. [hydawaybottle.com]

CARBONKLEAN:Thiscoollenscleanerisdesigned specifically for lenses and screens of all types, including smartphones, tablets, eyeglasses, sunglasses and reading glasses. Plus, it’s the only lens cleaner used on the Space Station by NASA! [carbonklean.com]

ROGUE INDUSTRIES: Try one of these beautiful theft blockers the next time you travel. Rogue Industries offers stylish, identity theft-secure wallets, clutches and travel bags that use RFID blocking for protection while traveling. [rogue-industries.com]

NAPIER OUTDOORS SUV TENT: Going to a Christian music festival? Taking a youth group on a camping adventure? Check out the Sportz SUV Tent with Screen Room. This tent has a universal vehicle sleeve that easily attaches to any SUV to provide complete access to your vehicle from inside the tent. All your gear stays within easy reach and the detachable screen room (with seven feet of head room!) offers additional storage for gear — and an area to enjoy your evening, bug-free. There’s even enough room to invite the whole group in for a sing-along. [napieroutdoors.com]

NAPANYWHERE TRAVEL PILLOW: Try this comfy travel companion if you want to arrive at your destination refreshed and without an ache in your neck. The NapAnywhere is a portable, head-support pillow developed by a physician for use by frequent travelers. [napanywhere.net]

BUGBANE TOWELETTES: Keep pests at bay with Bugbane Towelettes, especially if you’re heading to a destination where mosquito-borne illnesses are a concern. The BugBand Towelette is a handy way to apply DEET-free insect repellent for heavy-duty insect protection. The towelettes are lightweight and take up very little space. [bugband.net]