The scaled-back LA Times managed to marshal dozens of reporters, photographers and support staff for its extensive and often clever coverage of the Carmageddon non-story but has virtually ignored the extraordinary phone hacking scandal in Britain involving Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. with its deep connections to Los Angeles.
Six months later, AEG Would it surprise Even more damaging to “With little Note that the project was built by a subsidiary so AEG and Anschutz have no
“The company that wants to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los
Angeles announced a milestone in mid-February: It had sold the first unit in
its nearby luxury condo project that towers above the skyline.
“Anschutz Entertainment Group neglected to acknowledge, however, that it
had bought the Ritz-Carlton-branded condo unit itself.”
has managed to sell 32 of the 224 condo units with a top price of nearly $6
million without mentioning what property records show: Buyers included Anschutz
himself, CEO Tim Leiweke and four other AEG executives, two of whom needed
financing from their employer.
anyone if Jan Perry, AEG’s own Councilwoman, or the AEG-sponsored Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa soon showed up on the buyers’ list?
AEG’s myths about the success of LA Live is the disclosure that the company has
stiffed contractors who worked on the project.
revenue from selling condos, the company has been hit with stacks of unpaid
bills, county records show. In April and May alone, contractors filed at least
$7.4 million in mechanics’ liens against Olympic and Georgia Partners LLC, the
AEG subsidiary set up to develop the property. They detail unpaid plumbing
work, flooring and countertop installations, and other projects,” the
Associated Press reported.
liability. They plan the same strategy with the NFL stadium using a dummy Delaware
company as the owner so if it’s a bust, the losers will be the lenders and the
city which plans to borrow $300 million on top of the $450 million still owed
for the Convention Center.
Six months later, AEG
Would it surprise
Even more damaging to
Note that the project was built by a subsidiary so AEG and Anschutz have no
It’s hard to believe
the City Council is prepared to hold a single public hearing on July 29 and
then sign off on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AEG by mid-August
without an environmental impact report, without a full study of costs and
benefits from a credible source, without making sure the city gets a significant
share of all revenue and guarantees against losses, without answers to the
dozens of questions that have so far gone unanswered.
The claim the MOU is
non-binding is specious. Time and again, developers, even small ones, have
gotten their way on the basis of having spent money on their projects after
agreeing to an MOU with the city and thus are entitled to go forward.
Does anyone think an
outfit with as much clout at City Hall as AEG won’t be able get the city to
give it terms in the MOU based on inadequate information and public
The press has a
responsibility to make sure that the public gets all the facts, like noting that
PKF Consulting which did the AEG study did the so-called
“independent” study for the city touting the economic benefits that
would come from giving the Wilshire Grand Hotel developer a massive bed tax
subsidy and huge digital billboard rights. The firm’s website describes it as a
specialist in advising hotel developments for hotel owners and operators,
financial institutions, real estate developers, investors, and governmental
agencies, which ought to tell you something about its objectivity.