Step into the future with Grand Ave Augmented, the first large-scale deployment of an Augmented Reality (AR) walking tour in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). On October 22, 2022, DTLA unveiled Grand Ave Augmented. This innovative project features over 40 activations placed throughout a 2-mile radius around Grand Avenue. From original art installations and virtual musical performances to interactive holograms and 360º environments, Grand Ave Augmented showcases major cultural institutions, key properties, outdoor spaces, amenities, and attractions of DTLA.

Grand Avenue Augmented Goals

Grand Ave Augmented aims to:

1) attract and engage visitors, residents, and workers
2) showcase culture institutions, properties, and spaces
3) support the local creative community
4) promote DTLA as a place of innovation and creativity

Here is an overview of some of Grand Ave Augmented experiences:

• 25 Partners: Cultural institutions, property owners, local businesses
• 25 Locations: Public Space and POPs
• 45 Activations: Art installations, virtual performances, interactive holograms, immersive environments, audio experiences, video projections.
• 30 Artists & Creators
• 5 months from kick-off to launch
• 6,000 views and 100,000+ social/digital media impressions in the first 2 months

The Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID) worked with local partners and artists to curate and produce Grand Ave Augmented, publishing AR experiences on a dedicated Hoverlay channel. Grand Ave Augmented features the work of over 30 artists and content creators as well as immersive content from 25 partner organizations including the Music Center, LA Central Library, USBank Tower, CAL Edison Building, LA Opera, LA Phil, and Colburn School among others.

Planning and Developing Grand Ave Augmented

It took about 5 months from project kick-off to launch. Prior to selecting Hoverlay publishing platform, DCBID evaluated different scenarios ranging from building its own app to working with agencies and other developer-centric platforms. According to Nick Griffin, the Executive Director of DCBID, the most important reason for choosing Hoverlay was that it was “user-friendly, both on the consumer side, for the people who experience it, but even more importantly on the creator side. ”The back-end is really user friendly. We wanted to develop this as a content and communication platform that is as easy to develop and use as our web site […]”. This enabled the DCBID team to develop content on the fly, in-house, with little cost.

Check out some of exciting Grand Ave Augmented activations.

California Oasis

“California Oasis” Augmented Reality (AR) experience at City National 2CAL in Downtown Los Angeles is an amazing immersive experience of colossal-sized native flora with chirping birds, butterflies and buzzing bees. Created by Kilograph Studio, produced by DTLA and published through Hoverlay.


Sky High Murals AR Exhibition

Sky High Murals Augmented Reality (AR) exhibition from 72nd Floor of US Bank Tower with a hologram of muralist and curator Man One talking about the importance of Street Art.

Cal Edison Building Virtual Journey

A virtual journey through the 1930s at The Cal Edison building in Downtown Los Angeles.


AR Collage Animation “The Perfect Note” by Dhiren Dasu

Augmented Reality collage animation “The Perfect Note” by Dhiren Dasu placed next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Colburn School Augmented Reality Experience – David Rejano Brass Ensemble – Grand Ave Augmented

David Rejano Brass Ensemble green screen hologram performance placed in front of the Colburn School in Downtown LA.

DCBID management made a strategic decision to go broad with a variety of immersive activations including AR art, property showcases, architecture and urban design, history, and local business promotions. They realized there were many interesting possibilities to explore so they wanted to see how far they can go, rather than focusing on just a few activations. As everybody got introduced to Hoverlay’s easy workflow and was able to chime in about their content contribution, partners and artists were eager to participate and collaborate. It was one of those “aha moments” when everybody realized they can create exciting immersive experiences without a heavy lift.

Through this process, DCBID adopted two main scenarios for creating and producing immersive content: In-house and Partnerships.

In-house option utilizes existing content and standard digital assets that are easy to produce like photos, videos, green screen holograms, audio narratives, and 360 photos/videos. It was a helpful scenario in getting partners involved as it did not require significant production efforts.

Partnerships option requires more involvement and resources for supporting content creation. The benefits are that it produces high profile, top level original immersive content created by renown artists and creative agencies.

On Demand Webinar “Developing an Augmented City – Case of Downtown Los Angeles”

In the replay of a live webinar Nick Griffin, the Executive Director at DCBID for Downtown Los Angeles, talked about goals, process, methodology and key findings of Grand Ave Augmented debut. Nick also shared his long-term vision about Augmented Cities and the intersection of Art, Technology and Places.

Getting Local Partners, Institutions and Creators Involved

DCBID and Hoverlay developed the project guide and several workshops for local creators and partners. The project guide was an important asset to help define what the project was all about along with some basic platform guidelines. The online and in-person workshops were a great way to identify dozens of talented artists who were interested to participate but also give partners and institutions a better feel to what the project is and what would be its benefits.

On September 30th, DCBID organized an event called “Stair Climb” that served as a beta test for the Grand Ave Augmented. There were only 3 AR activations available, but it was enough for a final “proof of concept” for a big launch. The event worked well and confirmed both content and technical assurances.

Grand Ave Augmented confirms that opportunities for cities and local communities are endless. Adding a new dimension to a district like a digital layer over the physical realm can be used in myriad ways as we are just scratching the surface. AR is most relevant when enhancing, activating, and promoting a specific place. This is a new medium to tell stories and engage constituents through events, virtual tours, exhibitions, information, history, and art.

To learn more about the entire Grand Ave Augmented program and review its map of installations, activations, and bios of the artists, and more, visit