Posts Tagged ‘South Park’
It may seem unconventional to begin a thesis in arts administration discussing a football stadium. This thesis is an exploration of urban planning in Los Angeles involving large-scale, public-private development. In the following chapters, I document how philanthropist Eli Broad’s under-construction contemporary art museum, The Broad, is being utilized to stimulate further redevelopment of an area of downtown Los Angeles called Bunker Hill. The Broad museum and the larger, coinciding Grand Avenue Project has engendered some conversation about the investment associated with public-private development projects, and the resulting public and private benefits. he amount of dialogue investment and return benefit involved with the Broad museum and Grand Avenue is minimal in comparison to another large-scale, public-private development proposal less than two miles away: Farmer’s Field. The proposed downtown National Football League stadium has garnered substantial, well-publicized and in-depth political, social, and economic debate about investments and benefits. For this reason, I believe reflecting on some of the lively discussions circulating abound Farmer’s Field can be useful in introducing similar questions and concerns, which may not have addressed or considered, or worse ignored, in the planning process of The Broad museum.
FIELD OF SCHEMES? – PUBLIC-PRIVATE INVESTMENT & BENEFIT
“We’ve built more arenas and stadiums than anyone in the world, ever–including the Romans!”[i]
– Tim Leiweke, President and C.E.O., Anschutz Entertainment Group
It is a plotline ripped from the popular television show Entourage (season 7 to be specific). Big-time developer Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) wants to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. AEG’s tactic to lure a franchise to the city is to build a brand new 1.3 billion stadium in downtown. The new stadium, which AEG has already sold naming rights to will be called Farmers Field, after the insurance company. AEG plans to squeeze the 72,000-seat stadium into the already dense LA Live—an entertainment and sports cluster, which AEG has spent more than a decade developing between the Figueroa corridor and the 110 Freeway. LA Live includes the Staples Center (home to both the Lakers and Clippers NBA franchises), Nokia Theaters, Regal Cinemas, JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton, and Grammy Museum. AEG has appealed for both public and government support of the project by communicating its record of success and by touting a lengthy list of impressive economic benefits, AEG claims, the city would should the NFL return: tens of thousands of jobs, construction of nearby hotels, a revived Convention Center, and hundreds of millions of dollars in increased economic activity.[ii] The economic influence seems incalculable and the project non-negotiable.
Recognize this image? You might, it’s been featured in numerous movies. On the right is a concrete textile block from the Ennis House in Loz Feliz, on the left is what the brick originally looked like. Suffice to say this brick, and the Ennis House at large needs lots of conservation, and I’m not just a little nip tuck. How much is this browlift going to cost?—Well a bunch of stabilization work was done by the Ennis House Foundation to keep the house from slipping down the hill, but there is still an additional $5-7 million needed. The additional conservation cost is probably the reason why the house sold for WAY below its initial asking price. The Ennis House Foundation made the decision to sell the house to a private owner way back in June 2009 and put it on the market for $15 million. There weren’t any biters, so in February 2010, the price was chopped to $10.5 million. Still no takers, and another chop in May 2010 to $7.5 million. The Ennis House has sat on the market at the price since. Until last week when it was announced that supermarket magnate Ron Burke had purchased the Ennis House for just under $4.5 million. Thanks Ron, one more price cut, and it could have been in my price range. (Yes, all of these links have been to curbed, and here’s another one, full of pretty pictures.)
And in case you still don’t recognize the Ennis House, here are some of the Ennis House’s onscreen appearances: