L.A. leaders like to say how business-friendly our city is and that the big bucks taxpayers invest in billionaire and corporate moves here (Eli Broad's $52 million museum parking lot, architectural firm Gensler's $1 million bonus for doing what it had plannned already — moving downtown) are worth it.
The latest grand pronouncement about bringing jobs to L.A. came from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was psyched about Chinese carmaker BYD opening its North American headquarters in L.A. this week.
The mayor via LA Biz Observed:
When multi-national companies like BYD choose to invest in Los Angeles, it means more jobs and more opportunities for our local economy.
Mayoral candidate and friend-of-Villaraigosa Austin Beutner was on the BYD train too, tweeting yesterday:
Proud to welcome BYD to Los Angeles this morning.
Small problem. The big-time marker of fine Chinese machinery only employs about 20 people, according to Bloomberg. Its promise last year: It would have had 150 by the end of this year. Maybe they'll make 30.
Big ribbon-cutting for that?
Turns out the city promised to pay BYD's rent if it couldn't make its payments. (Wonder if BYD will do the same for Angeleno car buyers).
True story: The problem with getting to that 150-employee mark sooner? Beutner, a former DWP leader and first deputy mayor, blamed … city red tape. Really. Via Bloomberg:
We had anticipated getting through all the permitting processes a little sooner.
Like we said. Business friendly. Wonder if the Occupiers know about the free rent and millions going to corporations and billionaires in this town. They might not be so eager to embrace City Hall's endorsement of Occupy L.A.
But hey, a few of them might have jobs at BYD by the end of the year.