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Playa

By JILL ROSENFELD

Staff Reporter

Developer Robert Maguire has made a $78 million bid to buy the site at Playa Vista near Marina del Rey where DreamWorks SKG has been planning to develop its movie studio.

Sources close to the negotiations say that on June 19, Maguire made a $67.7 million bid for the DreamWorks site. Five days later, after determining the site may be zoned for more density than originally believed, he upped his bid to $78 million.

Informed of the amount of Maguire’s bid, Al Grazioli, who is negotiating the deal on DreamWorks’ behalf, said, “That’s interesting. Noooo comment.”

Grazioli did say that discussions are continuing with Playa Capital Co. LLC, the owner of the entire Playa Vista site. “We continue to try to negotiate a deal with the people at Playa Capital, and we hope to eventually work something out,” Grazioli said. “Whatever their dealings are with Rob (Maguire), from our standpoint, nothing has changed. If Rob has a right of first offer to buy property and they’re trying to determine which offer to take, it’s their problem, not ours.”

Under an agreement struck in October of last year, Maguire has the right to make a bid on any property that Playa Capital intends to sell. Playa Capital can sell the property for no less than 95 percent of the amount Maguire offers. So DreamWorks would need to offer about $74 million to outbid Maguire, although its ultimate cost would be far less due to a generous subsidy it is being offered by the city of Los Angeles.

Playa Capital refused to comment on Maguire’s bid, but David Herbst, vice president of corporate affairs, did say, “We are making good progress in our discussion with DreamWorks.”

If DreamWorks does not match Maguire’s offer, or if Playa Capital opts to sell to Maguire, the developer has said he would construct a movie studio himself. Maguire, who has had ongoing financial problems, says he has secured independent financing, a source said.

Furthermore, in his June 24 letter, Maguire states that he intends to eventually make an offer on the rest of the Playa Vista site as well.

“We plan to submit a proposal for the purchase of the entertainment, media, and technology district and the residential as well,” the letter states.

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