Our friends at Curbed LA have posted a photo of a large Coca-Cola supergraphic being installed on the west side of the brand new Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Hotel in the L.A. Live area downtown. From the tenor of comments to that post, it seems most people think such advertising is crass and tacky, especially given the geographic and architectural prominence of the building.
What those persons may not know is that the sign being installed is only one of five that may go up on the 54 story building that can be prominently seen from the nearby 10 and 110 freeways. According to an L.A. Live signage plan approved by the city four years ago, the hotel is allowed to install 50 ft. wide by 160 ft. high supergraphics on all four sides of the hotel, as well as a 100 ft. wide by 50 ft. high sign on the attached ballroom.
The sign currently being put up on the West-facing side of the hotel is the first of the four to be installed on the hotel proper. The 5,000 sq. ft. ballroom sign currently displays a Toyota ad.
Curbed LA also raises the question of whether another “nasty catfight” might break out between City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and City Councilwoman Jan Perry. For anyone who may have forgotten, or come late to the city’s sign wars, Trutanich didn’t want the city to issue permits last October for six signs at L.A. Live’s Regal Cinemas just west of the hotel, saying that such action might jeopardize the city’s off-site sign ban adopted earlier that year. Both Perry and Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, the company that owns L.A. Live, argued that AEG had vested right to the signs and accused Trutanich of acting like a bully.
The city issued the permits and the signs were installed, and shortly thereafter a sign company and property owner in Hollywood cited that action in seeking to nullify the sign ban. A final ruling has not been made in that case, which coincidentally involves a hotel, the historic Roosevelt on Hollywood Blvd. Whether or not the City Attorney will challenge the installation of the latest signs on the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriot Hotel isn’t known.Dennis Hathaway