I hope LACER pension money isn’t being invested into this project, because MacFarlane works with Related Co (the project developers) elsewhere in the city.
And if actually HAD any pension money to invest, I would put in a stipulation that none of it may be invested in this risky, speculative, un-necessary project, with only detail for one (of three phases) worked out, and no guarantee that the project has enough funding to even be completed. (And all kinds of loopholes that allow developers to "filp" the project to new operators, once any part (office, housing, retail) is completed -- AND allows developers to scale back on the number of affordable housing units required.
Why pension money is risky investment: The City is tied in to the success or failure of this project with the private developers (Related) for the term of the 99 year lease. If construction costs over-run, the City gets hit, if we can’t find someone to build the five star Mandarin Hotel (and there is concern that we may not find someone willing to build more luxury hotel accommodations in the area, the city takes a hit. (See Bonneventure) If retail revenues and occupancy rates do not generate to the levels promised, the city takes a hit (because what we gave was based on what we expected to take in).
What if the project never even gets completed? With only phase one agreed to, and even that has not been executed, who’s to say people can’t drop out, default, or what if City money doesn’t come through?
ALSO, look how Related was selected as the developer by the Grand Authority (summary, page 3) Wonder what interests those selected to sit on the board (who selected the NY based company) had.
I also see in the summary that the project was approved for Related to be the developer, then substituted Related, with a spin-off company (GALA, Grand Ave LA) as developer, which is Related; plus CIUP (the CALPER pension people). [OH NO...CALPER IS THE PENSION FUND PEOPLE WHO INVEST IN MACFARLANE. PENSION FUND ALERT, Y'ALL!!! PENSION FUND ALERT!!! It says, “This was essentially the formal approval of the initial team selected. (Really, well what “un-essentials” were left out. (The City and ZD seem to differ on what is essential, and what isn’t.)
The "speculated" project cost already went up from $1.8 billion to $2.5, they haven't even started yet, and construction ain’t getting any cheaper.
The City is supposed to run municipal services for the City and help keep it ticking. Not use City funds (general and possibly pension) to invest in a forced, private project with no real benefit to the community, decided by a select few. June 10, 2007
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Since then, I have followed this, AND AGAIN ESPECIALLY WHEN I SAW THE SUB PRIME CRISIS AND ECONOMIC DOWNTURN AND WALL STREET FALL-OUT THAT I ALSO PREDICTED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY IN ADVANCE, AND KEPT THINKING BACK TO THE PENSION FUND:
THEN, I posted multiple warnings and appeared before city council warning of risky Wall Street investments with city pension money. And when it was announced during a council meeting recently (very quietly and calmly) that the city lost $7 Billion in pension money, I and have been screaming and blogging for a FEDERAL investigation into how Villaraigosa's money mangers (his appointments in charge of investing the city pension money) were being paid, who they paid, what was being invested in, and how much money these managers made while the city lost $7 billion in one year and will now most certainly face bankruptcy and further down gradings under Los Angeles Mayor and fading Gubernatorial former-hopeful Antonio Villaraigosa.
I hear Ari Swiller is passing large bricks, right now, and a whole bunch of folks who work inside city hall, and who have ties to city hall are not enjoying the Lakers game or the nice spring weekend, but on the phone with their attorneys...or hiring attorneys.
You know Ari Swiller: Villaraigosa's un-official, non-registered, paperless, think tank advisor who may end up being the one with the most to worry about in all of this. You know Ari, he used to work for Malibu socialite and rock and roll billionaire Ron Burkle, of Ralph's grocery store money. Anyway, Clinton had to pull money out of Burkel's investment shenanngians when Clinton ran for office. And wait until you see where this pension money was being invested and ZUMA DOGG has said all along, this is the big one Elizabeth. And here it is before us. So let's enjoy the ride and hope this take a bite out of crime and corruption in Los Angeles City Hall.
YES KIDDIES, and when I say kiddies I mean KABC, KFI, LA Weekly, LA Times' David Zahnisher and others: YOU ALL KNOW THERE HAS BEEN ONE MEDIA OUTLET COVERING THIS ALL ALONG, WARNING OF IT WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING, THEN CALLING FOR A FEDERAL LOOKIE-LOU INTO THE WHOLE $7 BILLION DOLLAR AFTER THE FACT MESS. AND YES, GRIEG SMITH AND LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL, I WARNED ALL OF Y'ALL ON THE RECORD ABOUT FIVE HUNDRED TIMES, RECENTLY! So now everyone can sit back and say there was no way they could have know, and boo-hoo-hoo, there was nothing that could have been done.
EXCEPT ZUMA DOGG KNEW!!! SO WHY DIDN'T YOU??? AND NOW, it's the biggest story (along with the DWP water story) that you will be covering in your after-the-fact media coverage. LOL! Out-scooped by a homeless and hungry, cement-dwelling dogg. AND YOU TAKE A PAY CHECK!?!? Go cover how much the city spends on calligraphy or keep complaining about presentations on Friday or symbolic staff cut backs and all that "gotcha" stuff...everyone knows who is predicting the BIGGEST, GIGANTIC issues that really matter. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
But everyone reading this is having the last laugh, cause they are all collecting paychecks and I woke up outside on the cement again today and am still waiting to eat something. But at least I can say "Ha, Ha, I told you so," right?
News before it happens!