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Related Cos Offers More Assurances About Grand Ave

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Via the Daily News, more assurances from developer Related Cos that the delayed Grand Ave project isn't in jeopardy. According to the paper, the Board of Supervisors asked for an update on the status of the project this week, but Related's Bill Witte continues to state that the financial difficulties of Dubai won't impact the project. And Witte seems to state that the developer's money--Istithmar has provided $100 million and has a 40 percent stake in the development--has already been spent: "Istithmar, the Dubai entity who has been the equity investor in Grand Avenue, has already contributed significant funds to the project," Witte said. "We have no reason to believe their commitment has changed and frankly we have already spent all the money to get the project ready for construction. It's the market and timing that is holding us back." Meanwhile, earlier this week, we asked Witte about that $250,000-a-month penalty that Related has to pay the city. (In February, the developer made a deal that allows Related to defer penalties for two years or until ground is broken, but in return they have to pay the city $250,000 a month. For example, if it takes Related Cos two years to break ground, they'll owe the city $6 million.) According to Witte, Related isn't actually delivering a check to the city every month, but will pay a total lump sum when the developer finally breaks ground. If Related pulls out of the deal and never breaks ground, no money is owed to the city, according to Witte.
· Grand Ave. project not in jeopardy [Daily News]
· Related: Don't Worry About Dubai [Curbed LA]