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Ex-Partner to Join Playa Vista Project

November 28, 1996|JAMES BATES

Sources close to the Playa Vista studio project said Wednesday that developer Robert Maguire III has formally agreed to bring former partner James Thomas into the project, a move that parties involved hope will salvage the ambitious $8-billion project.

Animosity between Maguire and DreamWorks SKG, which plans to build a new studio as part of the office and residential development near Marina del Rey, has been threatening the project, with DreamWorks evaluating alternative sites.

Although a number of hurdles remain, including negotiating a satisfactory agreement with banks holding about $150 million in loans on the property and attracting an outside investor, executives are hopeful that putting the project under Thomas will speed negotiations to start construction.

DreamWorks has argued that Maguire was resisting giving up control and equity in the project to potential investors, while Maguire argued that legal action from environmental and community activists was making financing difficult.

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