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Eli Broad on new museum: 'Our first choice is the Beverly Hills site'

August 13, 2009 |  4:26 pm

Broad

Rumors have been circulating over the last several days about the fate of Eli Broad's planned Beverly Hills museum. The Architect's Newspaper reported last week that the museum is "looking all but dead" and that Broad is searching for another location.

Broad has been conspicuously silent about the matter -- until now. The billionaire philanthropist recently spoke with The Times' Cara Mia DiMassa about his plans for downtown, but during the conversation, he also shed some light on the museum project.

"The City of Beverly Hills wants to do this. We want to do it," he said. "But there are a lot of complications that include creating adequate parking. It's a work in progress."

The proposed museum would be located on one or two parcels of a three-acre commercial and retail project called the Gateway, near the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, according to reports. The museum will consist of a two-story structure with approximately 68,000 square feet of gallery space.

In the interview, Broad confirmed rumors that the Beverly Hills site isn't finalized and that the museum could be headed for another part of town: "We are also being asked to build a museum if not there then in Santa Monica. And elsewhere."

Earlier this year, the Broad Foundation was reported to have launched a private competition for an architect, although the foundation has refused to confirm the reports.

Broad said that the museum "is going to happen" and that it's merely a matter of timing. 

"Our first choice is the Beverly Hills site," he said. "It's a great site. With great traffic on both Santa Monica and Wilshire, and then you've got the Peninsula Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and a proposed Waldorf Astoria right across the street. And lots of tourists in that whole area."

Broad did not reveal any time line for the museum's completion. "There are a lot of issues that we are working on," he said.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa and David Ng

Photo: Eli Broad. Credit: Irfan Kahn / Los Angeles Times
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