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Conference to Discuss Inner-City Projects

March 06, 2001|BOB HOWARD

Hoping to encourage more investment in inner-city developments in Los Angeles, the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles District Council will present a conference and trade fair called ULI-Urban Marketplace 2001 on March 21.

The conference is designed as an educational seminar on all facets of developing inner-city projects and as a networking event to bring together developers, lenders, investors, real estate brokers, governmental officials and lawyers.

The event will include a case study on the rebuilding of the 170,000-square-foot Midtown Shopping Center at Venice and San Vicente boulevards, which was destroyed in the 1992 Los Angeles riots and then redeveloped in the mid-1990s despite the Southern California recession and a host of other obstacles.

"We want to show how possible it is to make deals in the inner city by providing examples of people who are making deals and by making this a very action-oriented event where people can network," said Ed Rosehthal, a member of the ULI organizing committee for the event and a broker with Grubb & Ellis.

The conference, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Regal Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, will include a panel featuring James R. Young, managing general partner of Midtown Shopping Center, as well as others who have developed downtown properties, among them Tom Gilmore of Gilmore Associates and Patrick Barber, senior vice president for real estate at Ralphs Grocery Co.

A highlight of the conference will be the case study examining how developers of the Midtown Shopping Center overcame a series of hurdles.

The Midtown project encountered "every obstacle that you could conceive of," according to Young. He said the project ran into difficulties obtaining building permits and environmental approvals, engendered opposition from neighborhood groups and struggled to find financing.

Today, however, Midtown is a successful center that includes a Ralphs grocery store, a Sav-On drug store and an Orchard Supply Hardware store, Young said.

Young, Gilmore, Barber and other experts will explain how developers can cope with the financing, zoning, entitlements, legal issues and other facets of inner-city developments.

Other panelists will include Con Howe, Los Angeles director of planning; attorney William F. Delvac of Latham & Watkins; former Rebuild L.A. chief Linda Griego; and Glenn Sanada, senior vice president for community-based lending at Bank of America.

Round-table discussions hosted by lenders, lawyers, brokers, planners, architects and local planning department representatives will answer questions about every aspect of developing in the inner city.

The theme of the conference is "make a deal, make a difference," said Bob Arbour, chairman of ULI's inner-city and urban politics committee and managing director of Santa Monica-based Triple Net Equities.

"We want people to realize that it's possible to make a profit and also do something for the community," Arbour said.

Cost of the conference is $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Registration information is available at (800) 321-5011 and http://www.uli-la.org.

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