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01 December 2023

Istithmar plans to invest Dh275m in LA

By Staff Writer


Dubai World’s investment arm Istithmar will invest $75 million (Dh275m) in the Frank Gehry-designed $2 billion Grand Avenue project in Los Angeles, a US newspaper reported on Friday.

Grand Avenue includes residential housing, a five-star hotel and upscale shops and restaurants, all built on publicly-owned land, the Los Angeles Times said. Istithmar will provide the developer, Related Companies, a $75m equity investment in the project, about a quarter of the capital needed to secure a construction loan.

A previous investor, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, pulled out last year after deciding with its advisor, the investment firm MacFarlane Partners, that it was significantly invested in other downtown projects.

Because its investment in the project is significant, Istithmar must be approved by the city and county and by a joint city-county board overseeing the development before construction can begin, the LA Times said. Officials for Related told the paper they expect to receive approval next month and begin construction this summer.

Stephen M Ross, founder of Related, which in December received a cash infusion of $1.4bn from investors including Goldman Sachs and the Government of Abu Dhabi, meanwhile bought half of the Miami Dolphins and related properties from team owner Wayne Huizenga, Bloomberg reported.

Ross will be a 50 per cent partner in the National Football League franchise, its stadium and surrounding developable land, the team said. Huizenga will remain managing general partner.

The Miami Herald reported in December Huizenga was seeking between $1.1bn and $1.2bn for the team.

“I have always said I wanted to bring in a partner and I can’t think of anyone more appropriate than Steve,” Huizenga said. “He has unbridled enthusiasm and I couldn’t feel better about the future than I do with Steve as partner and Bill Parcells running football operations.” The Dolphins won just one of 16 games in the 2007 season and began an offseason makeover by hiring Super Bowl-winning coach Parcells to run football operations, reporting directly to Huizenga. Ross was listed by Forbes magazine in September as the 68th wealthiest person in the US, with a net worth of $4.5bn. Huizenga was 165th at $2.5bn.

The 67-year-old Ross is the founder of Related Companies, a closely held real estate development company that owns the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. He started the company in 1972 as Related Housing Companies.