, a vast, asset-rich
company owned by Philip Anschutz
, one of the wealthiest men in America, loves to ask the city of L.A. for money. Sometimes the huge corporation gets what they ask for. Sometimes they don't.
They successfully wrangled a handful of public cheese for the Staples Center, getting the land for the arena for a buck, with $70 million dollar worth of public subsidies thrown in for good measure. City officials put up the stop sign, though, when AEG came begging for funds for their spec football stadium.
Undaunted by that setback, the company came storming back with a proposal for a huge entertainment complex
that would, somewhat unsurprisingly, be centered around the Staples Center. Claiming that they needed help building an adjacent high-rise hotel (without which, according to the company, the project would not be viable), AEG asked for, and has now received public financing
through a CRA/LA loan.
Downtown hotel operators fear a worsening of the room surplus in the CBD. Some city officials worry that artificially encouraging hotel development around the financially troubled convention center will do little to help turn around it's fortunes.
'Course, the city could always take a page from the struggling screenwriter's handbook: sell the convention center to AEG for a buck, with points on the back end.