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AEG Secures New Partner For L.A. Live

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Philip Anschutz and AEG have secured KB Home as a new partner in the development of the planned $600-million hotel and condominium project across from the Staples Center.

The new partnership all but ensures the completion of the L.A. Live project in the downtown area of Los Angeles, which hopes to transform the site into a viable entertainment and residential area.

The partnership between AEG and KB Home’s new formed KB Urban division replace developers Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Wolff Urban Management Inc., who were bought out of the project.

“Our decision not to continue with the creation of this hotel will allow the project’s development to go on in the most expeditious manner,” Richard Ackerman, an Apollo principal, told the Los Angeles Times.

The 50-story structure will include two separate hotels with a combined 1,100 rooms, plus 250 luxury condo residences, and will be a major part in the success of the $2.5-billion L.A. Live project.

“We will have a massive impact on the rest of the downtown hotels as we become one of the great points of destinations for conventions and events,” Tim Leiweke, CEO of AEG told the paper.

Leiweke said that Anschutz put up $100 million in capital to ensure that the hotel project was completed.

“We have to get this built so we can get the convention business turned around,” he told the paper. He added that AEG has no plans for other hotel projects.

The previous developers had been working with Hilton Hotels Corp. to operate the hotel. AEG and KB Home are re-evaluating the Hilton deal and were also talking with other hotel operators to carry out their plan to have two hotel brands – offering mid-priced and luxury accommodations – within the same building.

KB Home and AEG “have the attitude of moving forward well and competently,” Bruce Karatz, chairman and CEO of KB Home, told the paper. “We’ve got all the elements to make his an extremely successful development – for us, for our partners, for the city and for all members of our city.”

To form the partnership with AEG, KB Home withdrew from a previously announced proposal to build a twin-tower, 700-unit condo project two blocks away with rival Lennar Corp., according to the Times. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers