Tuesday, December 1st, 6:00-8:00PM
Paul Hastings LLP = 515 South Flower Street, Twenty-Fifth Floor + Los Angeles, CA 90071

The AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee presents… 
WHEN:  Tuesday, December 1 (6:00 - 8:00pm)
WHERE: Paul Hastings LLP = 515 South Flower Street, Twenty-Fifth Floor + Los Angeles, CA 90071

a roundtable discussion featuring...

Cecilia V. Estolano - Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors LLC
Larry Kosmont, CRE® - President and CEO, Kosmont Companies
Mark Pisano - Professor of Practice of Public Administration, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California

Moderated by……
JOSH STEPHENS - Contributing Editor, California Planning & Development Report

Framing the discussion
Mitchell B. Menzer - Partner, Real Estate Department - Paul Hastings LLP


Now that Governor Brown has signed AB 313 (Atkins), leading experts on Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts (EIFD’s) will share insight on how Southern California can best utilize this new financing tool and how we as a community can rally behind the smart formation of districts that will help improve the built environment of the LA region.  We encourage to attend a diverse audience of architects, designers, business & community leaders, policy makers and city planners.

According to California Forward, AB 313 does three things:
1. Allows special districts to participate in the Public Financing Authority (PFA) that is established when the EIFD is formed. This is of particular importance to water districts since the earlier legislation prevented special districts from participating in the financing of infrastructure improvements.
2.The details of the Infrastructure financing plan will be the responsibility of the PFA instead of the city or county that forms the district. This change means that the required environmental documents as well as the planning and financing will be the responsibility of the PFA, since it will have all of the participating agencies represented.
3.The housing relocation obligations were revised to make clear that the relocation responsibilities apply to an EIFD/PFA if the project financed by the district displaces existing affordable housing. 

More about EIFD’s can be found here:


CECILIA V. ESTOLANO - Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors LLC
Cecilia V. Estolano is an expert in sustainable economic development and urban revitalization. The many projects she has directed as co-founder of ELP Advisors include advising local governments, non-profits and foundations on redevelopment dissolution and economic revitalization; overseeing research on green infrastructure and job creation in Philadelphia; and managing complex multi-stakeholder processes, including the creation of economic development implementation plans and the LA 2050 visioning project for the Goldhirsh Foundation.

Prior to co-founding ELP Advisors, Ms. Estolano was Chief Strategist of State and Local Initiatives for Green For All, a national organization that advocates for broad access and opportunity in the clean-energy economy. Ms. Estolano oversaw Green For All’s State and Local Initiatives and the Capital Access Program and was charged with spearheading the organization’s effort to scale public-private partnerships as a means to grow family-supporting jobs in energy efficiency, water and transportation infrastructure, green manufacturing and other green sectors, particularly in under-served communities.

Ms. Estolano previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Under Ms. Estolano’s tenure, CRA/LA was the largest redevelopment agency in California, with an annual budget of over $726 million and a work program covering 32 project areas. Ms. Estolano redefined the role of CRA/LA, developing and implementing the CRA/LA five-year Strategic Plan. She rebuilt the organization’s housing department, shepherded CRA/LA’s adoption of a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs, directed the adoption of a Healthy Neighborhoods policy, and created a $42 million Land Acquisition Fund to jumpstart development in underserved markets like South Los Angeles.

Prior to joining CRA/LA, Ms. Estolano was Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She represented developer, private equity fund and lender clients in land use, zoning, redevelopment, environmental, real estate, energy and telecommunications matters.

Ms. Estolano was the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, Energy and Environment Group for the Obama Presidential Transition Team. Her career includes service as a Special Assistant Los Angeles City Attorney, as a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. She also served on the California Coastal Commission.

Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges. Ms. Estolano has taught urban planning at UCLA and UC Berkeley. She serves as Vice President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and sits on the boards of directors of Manufacturing Renaissance and the National Employment Law Project.

Larry Kosmont, CRE® - President and CEO, Kosmont Companies
Mr. Larry J. Kosmont, CRE®, is the President and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions, economic development and public finance. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty Corporation (KRC), a company which sources private financing for public projects, P3 initiatives, infrastructure funding and economic development. Mr. Kosmont is also Managing Partner of Renaissance Community Fund, which has invested in and develops mixed use, residential and commercial projects throughout California, and a Principal of California Golden Fund, an approved EB-5 Regional Center.

Mr. Kosmont’s 40-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring and negotiations, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12 billion. He has an extensive track record as a public/private real estate consultant and public finance advisor. Mr. Kosmont has assisted hundreds of local government agencies in public finance and real estate matters ranging from large-scale economic development programs to site-specific real estate strategies and projects. He has guided over 1,000 private sector projects in obtaining public approvals, structuring deal terms, and securing public/private financing.

Mr. Kosmont served as Interim City Administrator for the City of Montebello, CA from May 2011 to March 2012 as part of a financial turnaround assignment awarded to Kosmont Companies. From 1975 to 1986, Mr. Kosmont served in the roles of City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank. Mr. Kosmont is a registered Municipal Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a licensed real estate broker in California, a designated Counselor of Real Estate, CRE®, and has served on:

-MWD Board (represented City of Los Angeles)
-State Commissioner – California Economic Development Commission
-USC Executive Education  – Board of Directors
-Los Angeles City Commissioner – Industrial Development Authority
-California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED) – Board Advisor
-City of Hawthorne Redevelopment Oversight Board
-California Redevelopment Association (CRA) Board

Mr. Kosmont holds a Masters of Public Administration Degree from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York – Binghamton.

Mark Pisano - Professor of Practice of Public Administration, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
Mark Pisano is a Professor of the Practice of Public Administration at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. For 31 years, he served as executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest regional planning agency. The association consists of a voluntary group of local governments that focuses on dealing with many vital local issues, including aspects of environmental conditions, transportation, housing and development. As Executive Director, he contributed greatly to the implementation of the Alameda Corridor Plan, which involved the construction of a 22-mile rail line running to and from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in order to improve freight container capacity. The plan contributed largely to making port operational methods and the overall transfer of goods throughout California more effective. Before joining SCAG, Mark Pisano served as director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Quality Planning Division. He has also co-founded and held positions at various not-for-profit and governmental associations, such as the California Center for Research and Development, California Federation for Energy and the Environment, California Hazardous Waste Management Authority, LINC Housing, and California Leadership. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgetown University.

Mitchell B. Menzer - Partner, Real Estate Department - Paul Hastings LLP
Mitchell B. Menzer is a partner in the Paul Hastings Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Global Real Estate group. 

Mr. Menzer represents investors and developers in all aspects of real estate development, including land use and entitlement matters, joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, financing, equity investments, environmental issues and construction contracts. These transactions involve properties ranging from hotels to raw land to residential developments to portfolios of office buildings. 

Mr. Menzer has substantial expertise in land use regulation and obtaining entitlements for real estate development projects, including residential development mixed use projects, development agreements, and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. Examples of these projects include representation of: 
Korean Air Lines in the redevelopment of its 896 room hotel located at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. The approvals include a 65-story 1,500,000 square foot office tower, a 45-story hotel/residential tower with 900 hotel rooms and 100 condominium units, 275,000 square feet of hotel amenities, restaurants and retail, and a 1,900 space parking garage as well as a state-of-the-art electronic sign district, transient occupancy tax subvention and 20 year Development Agreement. 

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in obtaining approvals of zoning code amendments, conditional use permits and an environmental impact report for its new Education and Visitors Center. 

Mack Urban Development in obtaining entitlements for a large scale residential community in the South Park neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The projects involve six separate sites that the developer will entitle for over 1,800 residential units and ground floor retail, restaurants and amenities. 

Greenland US Holding Inc. in securing economic incentives from the City of Los Angeles for Greenland’s new 350 room hotel in downtown Los Angeles that will serve the convention center, businesses and tourist industry. 

Oaktree Capital in obtaining entitlements for a significant residential community in Malibu, California. The project required an environmental impact report, zoning text amendment for a planned development designation, vesting tentative tract map, a local coastal plan amendment and other approvals to comply with the Coastal Act. 
AREA Property Partners in obtaining land use approvals for a one million square foot mixed-use project on a full city block in Hollywood, California, which will include 400,000 square feet of office space, a 125-room hotel, 400 condominium units and approximately 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail. The project also involves the preservation and rehabilitation of a 100,000 square foot office complex designated as a historic monument. 

Carlyle Realty Partners in obtaining land use approvals from the City of Culver City and its Redevelopment Agency for a 400,000 square foot office building to be integrated with an existing hotel to create a mixed-use project. The project involved a shared parking analysis, major traffic improvements and the completion of an environmental impact report. We also successfully defended the lawsuit challenging the project’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, which was brought by project opponents. 

Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles in obtaining approvals for its proposed expansion and modification of operating conditions. This work also includes the completion of an environmental impact report and numerous land use approvals. 

Barlow Respiratory Hospital in connection with its master plan for its Elysian Park campus, including a replacement hospital and a large mixed-use community. 
Madame Tussauds in obtaining approvals for a 40,000 square foot Madame Tussauds attraction in Hollywood, California. This project involved the approval of site plan review and numerous variances as well as a comprehensive sign program featuring electronic signs and supergraphics approved by the Community Redevelopment Agency. The project also involved the adoption of a subsequent negative declaration under CEQA. 

The developer in obtaining approvals for a mixed-use development featuring 36,000 square feet of retail and commercial space and 155 condominium units. This project involved innovative shared parking arrangements and the completion of an environmental impact report. 

Mr. Menzer served on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission from 2000 to 2004 and was the President of the Commission 2002 – 2003. During that time, he served on the Mayor’s Development Advisory Group and the Mayor’s Industrial Land Task Force. 

In 2014, Mr. Menzer was named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 50 Development Lawyers. In 2012, Mr. Menzer was recognized by the Daily Journal in its inaugural list of Top 25 Land Use Leaders. Mr. Menzer was selected as among the top 5% of Southern California real estate attorneys in a research process conducted by Law & Politics magazine. 

In 2001-2002, Mr. Menzer served on the Urban Land Institute’s California Smart Growth Coordinating Committee, which published “Putting the Pieces Together: State Actions to Encourage Smart Growth Practices in California.” 

He is a member of the ULI Los Angeles District Council Executive Committee and its Land Use Leadership Committee. He serves on the board of A Community of Friends and the California Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land. He also serves on committees for the Central City Association. He was member of the CEQA Improvement Advisory Group convened by the Secretary of the California Resources Agency. 

Mr. Menzer is the author of numerous articles including “A Guide to California Government Code Section 65915: Density Bonuses and Incentives for Affordable Housing” in the California Real Property Journal (Spring, 2005) and “Housing Southern California: Smart Growth Strategies” in the 2001 SCAG State of the Region Report. 

Mr. Menzer is a frequent speaker to both real estate attorneys and other real estate professionals, including the California Continuing Education of the Bar course on Land Use Entitlements. 

Mr. Menzer received his B.A. degree in 1978 from Amherst College, with honors. In 1984, he received his J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif. Mr. Menzer clerked for the Honorable Pamela Ann Rymer, United States District Judge for the Central District of California.

Josh Stephens
A longtime journalist with an abiding interest in all things urban, Josh Stephens is contributing editor of the California Planning & Development Report, which covers planning and urbanism throughout the state. Josh previously edited The Planning Report and Metro Investment Report. A native of Los Angeles, he serves on the board of the Westside Urban Forum. Josh contributes regularly to publications including Next City, Planetizen, and The Architect's Newspaper. He earned his Master of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

For more information, please contact:
Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles Chapter
3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(o) (213) 639-0764
(m) (310) 309-9580