SBD/March 28, 2011/Facilities

Public Forum Will Give L.A. Residents Chance To Discuss AEG's Farmers Field

Stadium developers, city planners will address Farmers Field with public
L.A.'s Planning Department will host an "informal session" Wednesday afternoon for the public to discuss AEG's proposed Farmers Field, beginning a "months-long process of identifying, studying and attempting to lessen environmental effects of the proposed stadium next door to Staples Center," according to Rich Connell of the L.A. TIMES. City officials said that "renderings of the stadium and other information will be available at the open-house-style meeting, along with consultants for the developer and city planners." The project is "going through a full environmental impact report process," although AEG officials have indicated that the firm "might seek some legislative protection from lawsuits that could delay the project." L.A. Dir of Planning Michael LoGrande said that "key issues for the Los Angeles proposal will include 'really looking at the context of the stadium and how it fits into downtown,' ensuring that it doesn't overshadow surrounding development." Connell noted "getting tens of thousands of stadium-goers in and out of the area on the southern edge of downtown's high-rise office and residential district will also be a focus of the study" (L.A. TIMES, 3/27). In L.A., Vincent Bonsignore noted AEG has selected Gensler to design Farmers Field, and the L.A.-based firm's "familiarity with L.A. Live could help expedite the environmental report." ICON Venue Group President & CEO Tim Romani, whose firm represents AEG for the stadium project, said it will "allow us to accelerate our EIR work product and continue AEG's mission to return the NFL to Los Angeles." Gensler's team is led by Andy Cohen and Ron Turner. AEG also "announced a separate process Friday to select an architect to design the Convention Center that will ultimately relocate the existing West Hall" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 3/26).

ALREADY DRAWING RETAILERS: In L.A., Roger Vincent reported with AEG's plan to build a new events center in downtown L.A., "some retailers and developers have begun scouting the neighborhood and sounding out commercial real estate brokers for opportunities." CB Richard Ellis broker Derrick Moore said that "chain stores prospecting for new downtown locations include CVS and Walgreens drugstores and various large clothing stores." Vincent noted grocery store chains Sprouts Farmers Market and Fresh & Easy "are also scanning the area." Real estate brokers indicated that "at least four major hotel chains are contemplating a spot downtown, with their sights set on a spot near L.A. Live and the convention center" (L.A. TIMES, 3/27).
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