Ground was officially broken Monday on a much-delayed, elaborate commercial and residential downtown development designed by Frank Gehry and located across the street from his signature Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Construction on the $1 billion Grand Avenue Project was ushered in by a celebration led by Mayor Eric Garcetti, philanthropist Eli Broad, Gehry and others.

“This is a city that defines itself by its innovation,” Garcetti said at the ceremony. “I think nobody is the incarnation of that innovative spirit more than Frank Gehry, my dear friend and the man who has brought Grand Avenue alive.”

The complex of condominiums, apartments, shops, restaurants and a hotel has been delayed several times since 2004, when Related Companies was selected by city and county officials to transform land left mostly vacant since the former residential neighborhood was razed about 50 years ago in an urban renewal program.

The development, dubbed simply The Grand, is expected to include more than 200,000 square feet of retail space, including shops and restaurants, along with a movie theater, a hotel and more than 400 residences.

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