If the Los Angeles City Council has its way, portions of the development surrounding the Los Angeles FC stadium will be covered by a federal loan.
At a meeting on Friday, the council voted to apply for a $22.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD loan would not pay for the stadium, but rather the surrounding development. Under a proposal previously agreed upon by Los Angeles FC and the City of Los Angeles, a $250 million project will be built a the former site of the Sports Arena, with a stadium to be joined by additional amenities that include a soccer museum, retail, office space, and a conference center.
As far as the city council is concerned, the HUD loan under the Section 108 program is needed to address a funding gap. Some council members seem certain that this project fits the criteria for such a loan. More from MyNewsLA.com:
Such loans are reserved for projects that generate jobs and investment in areas that are struggling economically, and are using the city’s future allotments of Community Development Block Grant funds, which typically go toward infrastructure improvements and programs aimed at fighting poverty and creating affordable housing.
The city has used the Section 108 program in the past to secure loans for 30 other projects, according to EWDD officials. Los Angeles in 2010 received a $30 million loan for renovations at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, and smaller loans for constructing strip malls in Sun Valley and the Mid-City areas, according to HUD records.
Councilman Curren Price, who has worked to get the soccer stadium built in his district, said HUD’s loan program “is designed to fund economic revitalization projects when private financing isn’t willing to take on the risk in neighborhoods such as the one I represent.”
He said that “for far too long, private developers have ignored South Los Angeles — setting their sights on more lucrative options in other affluent parts of town.”
Price said the stadium project is expected to generate $2.5 million in local revenue each year, generate at least 3,000 jobs, nearly half of it local, and bring tourists to South Los Angeles.
The stadium is expected to open in 2018.
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