Magazine article Reason

Art Heist

Magazine article Reason

Art Heist

Article excerpt

WHEN ELI Broad, the billionaire founder of KB Homes and SunAmerica (now part of AIG), needed a place to warehouse his art collection, the city of Los Angeles hoped he would choose to build a new museum in downtown L.A. So the city's Community Redevelopment Agency gave him a choice chunk of real estate for a bargain price: $7.7 million for a 99-year-lease on 2.5 acres of hilltop land next to Disney Hall--a neighborhood where 1,000-square-foot condos list for $500,000.

Broad called the museum "our gift to the city that has been so good to us." But when you look closer at the deal, it's not so clear who's giving and who's receiving. Broad is effectively renting most of a block on Grand Avenue for a century at $6,481 a month. One-bedroom apartments go for $1,500 to $2,000 a month in the same rapidly growing section of town. You could fit dozens of them in the 50,000-square-foot building that Broad proposes to build. …

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