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L.A. City Council committee endorses $1.2-billion expansion of convention center and hotel

L.A. City Council committee endorses $1.2-billion expansion of convention center and hotel
The West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would be upgraded as part of a $1.2-billion development proposed by AEG. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

A proposal for a $1.2-billion subsidized development that would add hundreds of hotel rooms at L.A. Live and substantially enlarge the Los Angeles Convention Center was moved forward Tuesday by a City Council committee.

Members of the Economic Development Committee approved recommendations in a report released Friday by the chief legislative analyst that called for the city to work with Anschutz Entertainment Group to complete the project by 2022.

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AEG — owner of Staples Center, L.A. Live and a hotel complex anchored by JW Marriott — wants financial assistance to help close a $119.4-million “feasibility gap” stemming from the company’s proposed addition to the Marriott. AEG wants to build a $700-million tower with 850 luxury rooms and the city’s largest ballroom.

Under L.A.'s development incentive program, AEG could receive as much as half of the new revenues generated during the hotel’s construction and 25 years of operation.

That would total $97.7 million, coming primarily from the transient occupancy tax, a 14% levy that visitors pay for booking a hotel room, according to a preliminary analysis done for the city.

The analyst’s recommendations call for the city to work with AEG to craft such an arrangement, the final details of which are dependent on refinement of the hotel’s design.

They also call for the city to execute an exclusive negotiating agreement with AEG and a second company to put together a public-private partnership to pay for a $500-million expansion of the city-owned convention center.

The council’s Budget and Finance Committee will consider the recommendations next. They could reach the full council as soon as next week.

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