The letter by Irv and Ruth M. Willner on the Atlantic Square redevelopment project contained a number of misstatements that warrant clarification.
First, there is not an increase in the city's investment of 50% for the project as claimed. This figure focuses on a worst case scenario analysis prepared by the agency's real estate consultant. Neither the consultant nor any of the parties involved in this transaction believe such a circumstance would occur.
The "loss in security" mentioned in the letter--i.e. the change in the city's financial position vis-a-vis the lender in case of developer default--ignores an important consideration. The crisis of the banking industry has caused bankers and lenders to be far more conservative and demanding in placing conditions on development loans. As a result, had the city required its interest to be superior to that of the lender in case of default, the project would be unable to move forward. This would not be in the interest of the citizens of Monterey Park.
Third, the letter claimed that the report prepared by the real estate consultant is biased due to a relationship between that firm and the developer. This is an absolutely false statement. The firm worked under contract with the Monterey Park Redevelopment Agency and serves to protect the agency's interest in this redevelopment project.