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City OKs loan to help Cirque

August 05, 2009|Maeve Reston

The acrobats of Cirque du Soleil and a developer won a victory Tuesday when the City Council unanimously approved a $30-million loan to help finance upgrades that will allow the Kodak Theatre to host the troupe for 368 performances a year.

The city owns the Kodak Theatre, which is operated by CIM Group. Officials plan to draw from a $350-million federal fund for economic development and job creation to make the project happen.

Cirque du Soleil is contributing $50 million toward the roughly $100-million project, and CIM Group will spend $20 million.

If CIM were to default on the loan, the city would get a piece of the Hollywood & Highland shopping and entertainment center, where the Kodak is located.

CIM has told the city the show would create 858 jobs in entertainment, retail and restaurants.

The federal government must still approve the loan. Once that happens, the city will receive a 1.5% fee for administering the loan. That comes to $450,000 in this case.

-- Maeve Reston

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