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Anti-Blight Real Estate Fund Set to Expand

Development: Genesis fund, launched to help L.A. city neighborhoods, will now pursue investments countywide.

November 07, 2001|LEE ROMNEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Genesis L.A. Real Estate Fund, launched by the Riordan administration to invest in blighted Los Angeles neighborhoods, is expanding countywide, the private fund's managers said Tuesday.

The $85-million fund, which aims to channel equity capital into real estate projects in low-and moderate-income neighborhoods, was initiated by then-Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan but is funded by private capital and managed by Burbank-based Shamrock Capital Advisors.

Since it began making investments last year, the fund has helped finance projects in Hollywood, Venice and Arleta. But Richard Gentilucci, Shamrock's senior vice president for real estate, said he has had to turn down potentially promising deals just outside city borders. Expanding the reach of the fund will help Shamrock land new deals, he said.

For example, Gentilucci said, Shamrock has had to pass on a promising Alameda Corridor project just blocks from the city border and another in which one land parcel fell within the city of Los Angeles but the adjacent parcel was in Burbank.

"What helps the L.A. Basin helps the city, and what helps the city helps everybody," Gentilucci said. There are "projects literally adjacent to the city that could actually benefit the city."

Gentilucci said Shamrock expects to invest in three or four deals in the next six months that appear to be moving forward despite the economic downturn. He added that the gap financing provided by Shamrock is in even greater demand as the economy slows and conventional lenders pull back.

The Genesis L.A. initiative also includes a private nonprofit organization--the Genesis L.A. Economic Growth Corp.--which separately provides financing and other services and is launching a second fund to provide expansion capital to manufacturing and other businesses.

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