Agency votes on Eli Broad art museum

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The Grand Avenue Authority, the Los Angeles city and county agency that monitors a multi-billion dollar redevelopment of Grand Avenue, is scheduled to meet this morning. The agenda includes a key vote on the construction of a museum for the vast contemporary art collection of Southern California billionaire Eli Broad.

Broad didn’t always think his collection of Cindy Sherman photos and Jeff Koons rabbits would find a suitable home on Bunker Hill. He’s pondered the possibility of a museum in Santa Monica or Beverly Hills. He said he’ll decide after the Grand Avenue Authority votes.

"I think location is a big deal," said USC museum researcher Selma Holo, "and if it’s going to be in downtown Los Angeles, which we kind of think it will be, then I think it has to prove that there’s added value to MOCA, just across the street." In other words, can two contemporary art museums thrive on the same block. A big donation from Broad saved the Museum of Contemporary Art from bankruptcy nearly three years ago.

If Broad picks Grand Avenue, construction would cost about $100 million. He’d pay the L.A. city agency that owns the land nearly $8 million for a 99-year lease.