NFL OKs Project Funds

The NFL on Tuesday authorized spending up to $10 million for design and engineering studies at the Coliseum and outside Angel Stadium, a step Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said was "far and away" the most significant in more than a decade toward bringing a team back to the Los Angeles area, the Los Angeles Times reports. There had been speculation the league would make a decision on either or both sites, but with stadium costs for each pegged at $800 million and owners seeking cost certainties, there was no resolution. Even so, Los Angeles officials expressed optimism. The league's action sets the stage for meetings June 14-15 with government and business leaders in Los Angeles and Anaheim, the league demanding emphatic business support as a surrogate for public tax subsidies.

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Arbors Purchased for $50 Million
An Orange County real estate investment firm has paid more than $50 million for the Arbors at Warner Center, a 12-building apartment complex, and will invest several millions more in an extensive renovation, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The price paid by Real Estate Partners Inc. to Gateway Arbors LLC works out to about $200,000 per unit. The 250-unit complex spans 6.69 acres between Victory Boulevard and Erwin Street and Canoga and Owensmouth avenues. The sprawling complex was built in 1978, long before Warner Center morphed into the Century City of the San Fernando Valley with more than 1 million square feet of commercial and retail space. Today the complex is along the Metro Orange Line transit corridor and within walking distance of offices, restaurants, shops and two major shopping and entertainment destinations, Westfield Promenade and Westfield Topanga. The latter is undergoing a massive renovation that includes a new Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Target plus new shops and restaurants. Thompson said that his company plans a $3 million-plus renovation and will improve management to better serve the residents.
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Era Ends as Jetliner Takes to the Sky
As hundreds of people on the tarmac waved goodbye, Boeing Co.'s last 717 airliner took off Tuesday from Long Beach Airport, marking the end of 90 years of commercial airplane production in Southern California, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. The new twin-engine jetliner made for AirTran Airways was the 15,599th commercial or military plane built at the sprawling manufacturing complex at the airport since 1941. Tuesday's ceremony was the final rivet driven into what's been a nearly two-year march by Boeing toward the end of the 717's existence in Long Beach. With it, a more than 70-year legacy of commercial aviation history started by the Douglas Aircraft Co., carried on by McDonnell Corp. and the merged McDonnell Douglas Corp. and Boeing, also ends.
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New 405 Carpool Lanes Open
Transportation officials opened new carpool lanes on the San Diego (405) Freeway on Tuesday, an upgrade that could shave several minutes off clogged commutes into and out of the Los Angeles International Airport area, the Daily Breez reports. The 5-mile-long lanes run northbound and southbound from the Marina (90) to Century (105) freeways. The $40 million project, which began in 2003, is part of an ongoing effort by the state to speed traffic on the notoriously jammed freeway. Officials estimate that the carpool lanes will save commuters a minute per mile compared with mixed-flow lanes during peak hours. Indeed, traffic seemed to be flowing freely in the area Tuesday during rush hour.
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Immigration Spat Poses Big Challenge for L.A. Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa, this city's telegenic Mexican-American mayor, is being buffeted by the politics of immigration, the Wall Street Journal reports. Los Angeles, a city where nearly half of all residents are foreign-born, has become a leading force in the nation's immigration debate, presenting the city's Democratic mayor with a problem. If Mr. Villaraigosa appears too sympathetic to the cause, he could be pigeonholed as an ethnically driven mayor by both blacks and white conservatives hostile to relaxing immigration laws. Yet appearing critical or even lukewarm about the matter runs the risk of alienating the mayor's biggest and most fervent base of support. Any missteps on the immigration issue could jeopardize the mayor's long-term ambitions.
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