City Takes on Balancing Act - NBC Southern California

City Takes on Balancing Act

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    City Takes on Balancing Act
    Getty Images
    The ballet on lights girls prepare backstage ahead of Cirque Du Soleil's 'Dralion' production. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

    A City Council committee recommended Wednesday that the owner of the Hollywood & Highland complex be given a  $30 million loan to retrofit the Kodak Theatre so it can house Cirque du Soleil  performances for a decade.

    CIM Group, which owns Hollywood & Highland but leases the theatre, hopes to bring the acrobatic performances to the  venue starting in 2011.

    In exchange for the loan, CIM and its partners would pledge to create at  least 858 jobs, according to the proposal under consideration, the Los  Angeles Times reported.

    Council President Eric Garcetti, whose district includes the complex,  has thrown his support behind the loan, telling The Times that Cirque du Soleil  would be a major tourist draw.

    But Councilman Dennis Zine, who represents part of the West San Fernando  Valley, questioned the wisdom of putting so much loan money into a single  project.

    "If you take that $30 million and spread it throughout the city, then  that $30 million could generate $100 million," Zine told The Times.

    The 12-year loan was ok'd by the council's Housing,  Community and Economic Development Committee.

    CIM Group, which bought the mall complex in 2004, has been trying  without success to secure private financing for the Cirque shows, Ninoos  Benjamin, economic development director with the city's development department,  told The Times.