The City of Santa Ana has not yet posted the minutes from the Santa Ana Planning Commission meeting where the changes proposed by developer Mike Harrah to his One Broadway Plaza developer agreement were approved.
However, our blogger, Rob Cook, who lives in Santa Ana, has posted there observations of the proposed changes over at the Santa Ana Citizens Yahoogroup:
Items of DA amendments under consideration.
4.3 51 percent ownership requirement.
Wants to bring in a 50 percent partner.
5.1.1 offsite mitigation, traffic plan studies, timing and payment.
Would leave the dollars for the traffic study in escrow account and do the traffic study later rather than sooner.
(I have read 5.1.1 over and over again and I do not understand it at all, but I can tell there is a lot more to it than the funding of a traffic study)
5.8 50 percent pre lease
Would eliminate the pre lease clause.
5.8.2 No Redevelopment Subsidy
Would eliminate this clause.
(There was a lot of discussion on this point and the reasons for it. But the elimination of this clause goes way beyond what was discussed. If changed, it should be adjusted to the tax increment only, as presented by OBP and city staff, and not as open ended anything goes.)
5.9 (3) Historic Structures on property
Increase the time allowed to fill the construction hole from 3 months to 4 months if the building has not yet started.
(There is 3 parts to 5.9(3), and the first 2 have been completed. Leaving only the 3rd part that deals with the hole for the foundation.)
It is too bad that these meetings are not video recorded as you can not see the non-verbal parts of the back and forth discussions that is not present in the minutes.
All of the commissioners were for the project and the 2 no votes were because.
Ward 5. Moving too fast and not enough time for the commissioner to understand the impacts.
He wanted to postpone the vote.
Ward 3 Had put forth a substitute to make the DA agreement run with the entitlements.
Mike was against this and it failed. (The agreement does provide for extensions)
Part of the discussion was if the deal OBP has to fund and build with the partner and banker does not get the relieve asked for in time to beat the changes in the building code (this fall/winter), the deal fails and he puts it on hold for another 2 years, until the expiration of the DA.
The mitigations in the DA that are also part of the EIR do not expire, so the saving to OBP llc comes from the parts that do expire in 2 years.
The requirement to built as a class A building and to use a Union Labor Agreement.
So the changes would benefit OBP by:
@100,000 in interest earning to OBP by having the 1.2 million held in the escrow account controlled by OBP instead of deposited into a Santa Ana City account for the 2 plus years.
@1,600,000 in property taxes per year for 30 years, or 10 years, not sure about number of years, so at least 16 million dollars to OBP in a 10 year period.
@unknown saving in having the building permits issued before the change in the building code would require a total redesign of the building.
So the changes would benefit Santa Ana by:
NONE. The changes bring nothing for Santa Ana. In fact the city will lose the earning on the traffic study money because the city will not control the deposit account.
(The benefits of economic activity in building the project to the city doesn’t change because of the DA being changed, just might make those benefits earlier by 2 years maybe.)
I think OBP needs to share some of above gains, since only action by the city will create this 16 million dollar windfall for OBPllc. (And by share, I DO NOT mean extra campaign donations.)
Is there a reason that the city does not put the minutes of these meeting on their web site immediately? I would have liked to reread the participants comments before making my summary.