THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

DESPITE ALL THE GRAND TALK ABOUT REBUILDING L.A., TERRENCE PAYNE CAN'T GET THE CREDIT TO START OVER

IF ANYONE HAD TOLD TERRENCE PAYNE, as he watched the wall of flames destroy his family business on April 29, 1992, that four years later his lot deep in the heart of South Central Los Angeles would still be empty, he would have refused to believe it. Payne figured he could rebuild the small grocery store and rental apartments, which had been in his family since 1944, within a year of the L.A. riots. But last week, when Payne met for the umpteenth time with the cadre of bankers and financial advisers trying to close the deal on his project, he...

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