Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin released a new report Wednesday proposing the creation of a nonprofit organization, the Los Angeles Municipal Development Corporation, to oversee city-owned properties.

“The city of Los Angeles does many things well, but we do not have a central agency with the industry expertise to get the most out of the thousands of properties we own,” Galperin said. “If we are more strategic about our real estate holdings, we will be able to do more for our communities. Creating the Los Angeles Municipal Development Corporation will enable the city to proactively manage our extensive real estate portfolio and ensure that residents get more value out of public properties.”

The city of Los Angeles owns more than 7,500 properties within its limits and thousands more in the county and elsewhere, making it one of the largest municipal real estate managers in the country, Galperin said.

Much of the city’s land is parks, recreation centers, parking lots or administrative buildings, but some of it is vacant or underutilized and could present economic development opportunities, according to the controller’s office. The LAMDC’s mission would be managing the city’s portfolio, provide a central starting point for the development or redevelopment of city buildings and land.

Creation of the LAMDC — which still requires approval by the full council — would involve private-sector real estate experts with city officials to assess the portfolio, identify key properties and develop project proposals aimed at maximizing the value of municipal properties.

Other cities have created similar nonprofit organizations to manage their real estate and spur economic success. New York City, Philadelphia and Copenhagen, Denmark, all employ this model and have enjoyed considerable revenue, job growth and community benefits, according to the controller’s office.

“As someone who has owned and operated my own business and served the city of Los Angeles for many years, I have long been concerned with inefficiencies in the way public agencies manage and operate various properties across our city,” said Los Angeles Councilman Greig Smith, who is the chair of the council’s Information, Technology and General Services Committee. “Controller Galperin’s proposal to transfer management responsibilities to a newly formed municipal development corporation is a smart strategy that will benefit our communities while saving money for Los Angeles taxpayers.”

The LAMDC proposal follows Galperin’s release of Property Panel, an online, interactive tool that maps all 7,500 city-owned properties within city limits, along with more than 6,000 others owned by five other public agencies.

The full proposal for the LAMDC can be found at www.lacontroller.org/lamdc.

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