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Grand Avenue project needs extension

Grand250 As a deadline looms for the Grand Avenue project to begin construction, the developer of the $3-billion effort is seeking revisions to its agreement with the county about scheduling -- though it's unclear what those changes might be.

Last year, the developer, Related Cos., agreed to pay financial penalties to the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority if ground wasn't broken by Feb. 15. Those penalties would total $250,000 a month until the project breaks ground. Related Cos. has said that although it has completed the documents required to begin construction, the current financial market has made procuring a loan on the massive project all but impossible.

But  Nelson Rising, chair of the civilian committee overseeing the project on behalf of the joint city-county authority, said that Related Cos. had requested revisions to the extension. Rising would not discuss what those revisions were because the negotiations were ongoing.

The members of the joint powers authority spent nearly an hour Monday in a closed session with representatives from the civic committee. When the meeting was called back to order, Supervisor Gloria Molina, the authority's chairwoman, said there was nothing to report out of the meeting.

The authority did grant the developer some concessions as to when the landscape and art plans, as well as a final construction budget, must be submitted. The timing of those documents is now linked to when the project receives its initial building permit.

The authority also asked the civilian committee to continue negotiations on its behalf. Rising and other members of the committee and authority would not discuss any further revisions to the development agreement. But they said they expected that their negotiations would be concluded before Feb. 15.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa

Photo: Eli Broad, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Supervisor Gloria Molina in 2005. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (9)

The picture associated with this article tells it all. Greasy Tony and Gloria Molina. Two of the biggest fiscal wasters we've ever seen. All they want is to stay in their well paid elected offices because they wouldn't be able to make it in private industry. Los Angeles is sick of them both.

Vote for Walter Moore on March 3 and get rid of Molina at the first opportunity.

It looks like the Grand Ave Project is not going to happen after all. I'm glad that the jurors' parking structure at 1st and Grand has been rescued. It provides an architectural counter point to the Disney Hall across the street.

The jurors parking structure at 1st and Grand is a near perfect example of post neotraditionalist concrete parking structure aesthetic of the 60's. It's a lost world and would be a crime to lose it

I feel like some people are missing the point of this story - fiscal giants are unable to complete a massive project, because they can't get a loan, because of the dire credit market we live in, and it puts them in a position where even though everything is squared away and ready to begin construction, they could have colossal fines levied on them - simply because the frozen credit market won't allow them to begin construction. This puts construction workers out of work, delays plans for all of the businessness looking to be a part of this project, and raises the impossible debt of the project ever higher - all because of the frozen credit market.

Ken do you really believe that this garage is worth preserving? if so, gimme a break. There's a time for preservation and there's a time for re-development. I think this city tore down so many significant structure in the middle of last century that people have overused the idea of preservation to the point where people advocate saving things like this - A PARKING LOT! and an ugly one at that. Get rid of it and put that land to good use.

That parking structure and the surrounding parking lots are eyesores not suited for the core of our city. I can't wait to see that ugly inefficient use of space get turned over.

I like the Related designs but if that couldn't happen I would be happy with some green space. By green space I don't mean some over designed concrete plaza like Pershing Square but something with actual trees, grass, plants and art.

This thing is dead - might as well kill it now. Was too big to do all at once and yes that means what is already done or close to done in downtown wil not reach the critical mass needed to make it a destination and true living spot. Don't bulldoze skid row yet. Businesses may need the clientele

Yo.. Lawrence.. switch to decaf. It was a joke. As was the "It provides an architectural counter point to the Disney Hall across the street" before it.

I say: Let the government give them a loan.

That's right, public financing. How about some good ol' government-backed bonds. They can give even them sweetheart terms. Maybe, an interest rate below market rate.

Want some economic stimulus?

That's it right there.

And all it takes is issuing some more public debt.


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