GLENDALE : Cutting-Edge Firm Eyes New Location

A company backed by movie mogul Steven Spielberg that produces high-tech educational software for kids is interested in moving to Glendale and is asking the city's redevelopment agency for a $60,000 subsidy.

City officials said Knowledge Adventure, a La Crescenta-based company known for producing "edutainment" CD-ROM programs, would be one of the first new companies to move into the fledgling San Fernando Road redevelopment project area.

"They are a cutting-edge company and they have the kind of high-tech, high-paying jobs that we want to bring into Glendale," said Angela Moreno, a project manager with the redevelopment agency.

As an incentive to lure the company to Glendale, city staff members are urging the City Council to approve a $60,000 loan to cover part of the company's costs of moving into a building in the Grand Central Business Centre.

Repayment of the loan would be waived if the company stays in Glendale for at least five years. The council is slated to vote today on the loan.

Knowledge Adventure was founded in 1991 by Bill Gross and has become known for its "Adventure" series of CD-ROM titles. Last year, the company entered into a creative and financial pact with Spielberg and launched one of its most successful titles, "3-D Dinosaur Adventure," which uses the creatures seen in Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" to teach children about dinosaurs.

Frank Greico, the firm's chief financial officer, said Knowledge Adventure is considering several locations but wants to stay close to the media industry in Hollywood and Burbank. He said the company has not finalized its decision on moving to Glendale, and the loan it is requesting is one among several factors being considered.

"We're looking at a number of places, and we thought we would see what sort of assistance Glendale could provide," Greico said. "The beauty of Glendale is there is a lot of room for expansion, and that's something we don't have right now."

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