Los Angeles City Council approves money for Broad Museum

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Ending speculation, Eli Broad announced on August 23, 2010 that he will build a $100 million museum to house his contemporary art collection on Grand Avenue in downtown L.A.

The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday unanimously approved another $22 million in redevelopment money for the planned Broad Museum downtown. The move comes as the governor seeks to shift redevelopment dollars to the state.

Cities around the state are under the gun, as LA Councilman Tony Cardenas pointed out.

“Just recently there was a very earth-shattering announcement by our new governor, Brown," he said.

With Brown seeking to move redevelopment dollars back to the California, the City Council approved more money for a parking garage, public plaza and new sidewalks around the museum on Grand Avenue that is to hold billionaire Eli Broad’s collection.

“We believe that the public improvements described in this proposal will go a long way toward improving the fabric of this city," Broad Foundation attorney Deborah Kanter told the council.

Critics of the redevelopment agency question the wisdom of helping a billionaire with his museum — redevelopment dollars are supposed to improve blighted areas. Broad's project will get up to $52 million worth of help from the agency.

Council President Eric Garcetti said it's well worth it to improve downtown.

“Mr. Broad has stepped up with an incredible art collection," Garcetti said. "It will be a magnet from people around the world to come here and stay here and spend money here.”

Gov. Brown has argued California can no longer afford to shift hundreds of millions of tax dollars from the state to redevelopment projects.

Construction on the Broad Museum could begin within weeks. It scheduled to be completed in January of 2013.

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