Eli Broad is definitely not Bruce Ratner, when it comes to local dealingShare
Bruce Ratner must look at Eli Broad with tears of envy. While Ratner has fought tooth and nail with residents, various elected officials, and skittish creditors to build his Xanadu (can Atlantic Yards still be called that after being repeatedly downsized?) in Brooklyn, Eli Broad has has had the luxury of Southern California cities fight each other just to win the right privilege of being home to his planned contemporary art museum. Of course, massive mixed-use projects with stadiums at their core are slightly different animals than relatively modest-scale art museums backed by $200 million private endowments.
In any event, the intrigue now appears to be ending with Santa Monica confidently saying it is just a few details away from wresting the Broad Art Foundation project away from Beverly Hills - not to mention a third “dark-horse candidate,” which I strongly suspect was “added” to the mix just to keep the two confirmed candidates on their toes.
If Bruce Ratner were Eli Broad, I wonder if he would’ve doggedly focused on the Beverly Hills site due to its more-central, prime location (at the intersection of Wilshire & Santa Monica Boulevards) notwithstanding the opposition of locals who worry about traffic congestion, among other things. Ratner’s track record in New York suggests an appetite for (or at least a tolerance of) controversy, once he sets his mind on something. Eli Broad, on the other hand, seems to operate differently, which isn’t surprising since his primary interests - art and philanthropy - don’t necessitate the conflicts that inevitably explode at the intersection of real estate development and money.
Image courtesy of Bing Maps.