Did Ballmer Do Enough To Get A New Building?
The Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer could have a roster of players that could compete for the National Basketball Association title. But for Ballmer to really win the summer will the addition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George be enough get Ballmer the arena he is seeking in Inglewood? On September 24, Ballmer’s lawyers will be in court in an effort to get the Clippers’ owners’ plan to build an arena in Inglewood, California approved. Here is the problem. An opposition coalition, the Uplift Inglewood Group thinks Inglewood and Ballmer’s Murphy Bowl violated California’s Surplus Land Act. The law states that public bodies must grant first priority to affordable housing development when selling public land. In June 2017, the Ballmer controlled company Murphy Bowl and the city of Inglewood reached an agreement which allowed Murphy Bowl to develop property on 22 acres of city owned land. Additionally, New York Knicks owner James Dolan doesn’t want Ballmer’s building approved because he owns the local arena, the Forum, and uses it for concerts. Dolan is suing to keep Ballmer out of the neighborhood but his court action is against the city of Inglewood, not Ballmer, over the land that Dolan thought would be used for a technology center. Instead Ballmer wants the mostly vacant lot for his arena which would be competition for Dolan’s concerts.
Ballmer also wants a parking lot, a practice facility, team offices, shops, and an outdoor plaza with basketball courts. People living on the property near the proposed arena village are concerned they will be evicted from the area. Landlords have begun to raise rents in the anticipation of an NFL stadium and arena opening in the neighborhood. Ballmer’s lease at the downtown Los Angeles arena ends in five years. He wants to be in Inglewood by 2024. Leonard and George’s presence won’t help the court case.