Officials of the troubled Walt Disney Concert Hall project said threats by Los Angeles County to declare the Downtown project in default of a county lease agreement are premature under the terms their contract with the county.
In a letter to the county, Disney family attorney Ronald E. Gother said project officials "are seriously concerned about the alarmist tone" of the county's correspondence.
County officials last week threatened to declare Disney Hall project managers in default within days, and to seize a $10-million deposit to finish construction of a county-owned parking structure on the site. No such action has been taken.
The county's threats came on the heels of a November announcement that Disney Hall officials had halted all construction-related work and had launched a study to cut costs. The halt occurred after cost estimates for the hall escalated to $260 million--$50 million above earlier estimates. The project was initiated by a 1987 gift of $50 million from the Disney family; Disney family contributions have since swelled to $93 million.
The project, to be built at 1st Street and Grand Avenue near the Los Angeles Music Center, is to become the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.