Yang-Ho Cho, chairman of Korean Air, touted the company's previously reported plans to build a $1 billion office tower downtown at a Town Hall Los Angeles forum Thursday.

He said the project could create 12,000 jobs, including 8,000 for its construction and 4,000 after it opens, and would give the city it's first, major office high-rise in more than two decades. The 65-story tower would be built at the site of the circa-1952 Wilshire Grand Hotel at South Figueroa and West Seventh streets.

“Challenges are opportunities for growth, and hard times are the best times for investment,'' Cho said. “We're in the middle of an exciting, emerging downtown.''

The 3.2-acre project will include a 560-room luxury hotel and U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification standards. Plans are under review by the city, which must approve the structure if construction is to begin.

Despite a Korean Air spokeswoman's statement that there is no timeline yet for the high-rise, previous reports indicate that a ground-breaking is planned for next year.

-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.