Grand Ave. project not in jeopardy (So they say, for now.)
FYI: Dubai was needed to keep this turkey of a loser project going after PENSION MONEY WAS PULLED OUT OF THIS MEGA-DEBACLE!
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday asked for a report on whether financial problems in Dubai will affect the $3 billion Grand Avenue project, whose developers have borrowed money from Dubai investors.
State-run investment company Dubai World has sought to delay payments on about half of its $59 billion debt, which unnerved financial markets last week.
One of the companies providing funding for the long-delayed Grand Avenue project in downtown Los Angeles is Istithmar Building FZE, an investment fund controlled by the royal family of Dubai. The fund has already provided $100 million for the project.
"As the world economic markets have responded to Dubai's bankruptcies that are taking place today, the New York developer who is attempting to develop the Grand Avenue project is being funded - I understand - from loans from Dubai," county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said.
But Bill Witte, president of The Related Companies of California, which is building the Grand Avenue project, said the problems in Dubai aren't delaying the project.
"Istithmar, the Dubai entity who has been the equity investor in Grand Avenue, has already contributed significant funds to the project," Witte said. "We have no reason to believe their commitment has changed and frankly we have already spent all the money to get the project ready for construction. It's the market and timing that is holding us back."
With the weakened economy, The Related
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The supervisors voted in April to approve a schematic design for the park. The vote came five years after the county and the city's Community Redevelopment Agency created a joint-powers authority to oversee the project - a vision of philanthropist and billionaire Eli Broad and city and county officials. As part of the Grand Avenue project, Related already gave the county $50 million for construction of the park. The money was placed in an escrow account, earned interest and now totals $56 million.
"The park is moving forward," Witte said. "We're doing construction drawings now for the design and every expectation is that construction will start next summer. The money is there. It's not a financing issue at all."
HERE IS ONE OF ZD'S LEGISLATIVE REVIEWS OF THIS PROJECT TO NO WHERE. (Always said this is some of my best comedy writing.)