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L.A. council backs $198.5 million in financial aid for downtown hotel project

L.A. council backs $198.5 million in financial aid for downtown hotel project
Downtown Los Angeles' Grand Avenue is pictured in 2006. Related Cos. is planning to construct a hotel and residential complex across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to back a $198.5-million financial aid package for a high-profile downtown hotel project that has been in the works for more than a decade.

On a 12-0 vote, the council agreed to provide a combination of subsidies and loans to Related Cos., which is seeking to build two towers — one 38 stories, the other 16 — across from Walt Disney Concert Hall.

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The council's proposal would allow Related to keep nearly half of the $396.9 million in tax revenue that would be generated for the city by the project over 25 years. That money would normally flow into the general fund, which pays for police, firefighters and other city services.

City officials calculated the present-day value of the financial aid at up to $66.6 million, since the value of a dollar is expected to steadily decline over 25 years. That money is expected to cover about half of the project's financial gap, according to city analysts.

The financial aid plan was approved without any discussion by council members.

The Grand Avenue project is expected to create 1,914 full-time jobs and 3,597 temporary construction jobs. In addition to a 305-room Equinox hotel, the development would offer 301 apartments, 128 condominium units and various stores and restaurants.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2017.

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Twitter: @DavidZahniser

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