Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly is reporting that Mike Harrah has found a company that will lease 50 percent of One Broadway Plaza clearing the way for him to begin construction on the building and thus punk the Usual Suspects making their recent court victory a moot point. You may remember that the 2005 referendum that was supported by Santa Ana voters stated that Harrah could not begin construction until he had leased 50 percent of his building.
Last year the city council amended the developer agreement which would have allowed Harrah to build without the 50 percent leased stipulation. As a result of this action a group of Usual Suspects calling itself the “Coalition for Accountable Government Ethics” filed a lawsuit to prevent the building and a judge last week agreed with them and ruled that the issue must go back before the voters.
It must be noted that many of the same people involved in this lawsuit also sued the city in an effort to derail the Station District project. They claim to be looking out for the best interests of the residents however all the seem to be doing is running up legal costs that have to be paid by taxpayers and preventing new jobs and development from coming into our city.
Lets all hope that Arellano’s scoop turns out to be fact and construction on OBP can finally get started. Arellano’s source, Rick Reiff of the Orange County Business Journal, said that Harrah told him that the leasing contract will be signed in August and groundbreaking of OBP will be in the fall.
This will be great news for our local economy bringing much needed construction jobs to local workers and put more money right back into the community. An election against the Usual Suspects would have been fun, but seeing new jobs and local residents employed is much better.