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LOS ANGELES-Rail car maker AnsaldoBreda plans to set-up operations in Los Angeles at the CRA/LA’s CleanTech Manufacturing Center in the Downtown industrial core, according to the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). The CRA says that the manufacturer “will bring a new, sustainable facility and nearly 1,000 middle-class jobs, as a result of Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) exercising its option to purchase light rail cars from AnsaldoBreda.”

The Italian manufacturer’s plan to build the new facility follows the CRA/LA board’s approval earlier this year of an exclusive negotiating agreement with AnsaldoBreda for a 240,000 square-foot light rail car manufacturing facility on 14 acres of the CRA/LA-owned,20-acre CleanTech Manufacturing Center (CTMC) site at the intersection of 15th Street and Santa Fe Avenue. AnsaldoBreda agreed to what the CRA describes as “unprecedented guarantees” to secure its obligations with Metro.

The negotiating agreement framework includes a $5 million letter of credit and a $30 million corporate guarantee by AnsaldoBreda, each to act as a performance deposit to ensure development of the CTMC, a base lease term of 50 years, a $15.1 million prepayment of a portion of the base ground rent by AnsaldoBreda, and a number of other provisions. Cecilia V. Estolano, CEO of the CRA, comments that, “With the $15 million prepayment, we will be able to repay our loan on the entire CTMC site. We will own the land free and clear.”

AnsaldoBreda can now finalize a lease and development agreement based on the framework established in the negotiating agreement. The EIR for the project has commenced, and the lease agreement will be scheduled for Los Angeles City Councilconsideration as soon as possible, the CRA says.

AnsaldoBreda is scheduled to begin construction of its light rail car manufacturing facility in 2010. Estolano calls the AnsaldoBreda facility “part of our coordinated action plan to make Los Angeles the clean tech manufacturing capital of the US.” The CTMC is a former brownfields revitalization site purchased by CRA/LA from State of California in 2008 for $14 million with the goal of attracting job-rich clean tech businesses to Los Angeles.

The CleanTech Corridor is a four-mile long district on the eastern edge of Downtown Los Angeles that stretches from the Los Angeles State Historic Park (formerly the ‘Cornfields’) at the northern end to the CleanTech Manufacturing Center (CTMC) at the south, including both the east and west banks of the Los Angeles River. All new construction at the CTMC will achieve the highest practicable standards of green building, with a minimum of LEED Silver certification, the CRA says, adding that AnsaldoBreda will target LEED Gold or Platinum certification.

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