Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

The Santa Ana Planning Commission will be considering as proposal by developer Mike Harrah, who owns Caribou Industries, to amend his development agreement with the City of Santa Ana. 

Here is the amendment language:

AMENDMENT TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT NO. 2004-01 (Vince Fregoso)

Filed by One Broadway Plaza LLC, to modify certain provisions of the development agreement to delete the 50 percent pre-leasing requirement; to allow the applicant to request assistance from the Redevelopment Agency; adjust the timing of the funding for the neighborhood traffic studies; allow additional time to refill any excavated area; and to delete the minimum of 51 percent ownership interest provision for the One Broadway Plaza (OBP) office tower at 1109 North Broadway.



Considering how the economy has changed since Harrah first proposed this development, the amendments appear to be worthy of consideration.  That said, some of my associates are opposed to the use of Redevelopment funds for the One Broadway Plaza.  That is understandable. 

I would prefer to see the project changed to lessen its scope.  Cutting the building down in size would be a good idea.  I also think that the Council should allow Harrah to include condos in the tower in addition to office space.  Mixed use projects are all the rage right now in downtown Los Angeles.

Click here to read the Planning Commission’s Meeting Agenda.

As one might expect, there is some pushback coming from the group of residents who routinely oppose development in our city.  Here is their message, about the meeting, which they posted on the Santa Ana Citizens Yahoogroup over the weekend:

Good morning everyone, please read the agenda for tomorrow’s Planning Commission (PC) meeting.

The City is asking the PC to release OBP developer Mike Harrah from key requirements passed by the City Council and the voters. The PC will consider staff’s recommendation to allow the developer to use public monies to partially fund the 500 foot-tall office tower as well as releasing the developer from any pre-lease agreement (meaning he could build the building and it be left mostly empty).

Send your elected officials an email (see below) expressing your thoughts about giving away public funds (perhaps in the millions of dollars) and the requirement to drop pre-leasing (of 50%) of the 550,000 square feet of office space. If you can, please attend tomorrow night’s PC meeting. The meeting begins promptly at 6PM. This is the only item on the agenda.

mpulido@santa-ana.org
calvarez@santa-ana.org
cbustamante@santa-ana.org
dbenavides@santa-ana.org
mimartinez@santa-ana.org
Councilwomanmartinez@gmail.com
stinajero@santa-ana.org
vsarmiento@santa-ana.org

Public Hearing Session
Council Chamber
22 Civic Center Plaza
CALL TO ORDER 6:00 P.M.

1. AMENDMENT TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT NO. 2004-01

Filed by One Broadway Plaza LLC, to modify certain provisions of the development agreement to delete the 50 percent pre-leasing requirement; to allow the applicant to request assistance from the Redevelopment Agency; adjust the timing of the funding for the neighborhood traffic studies; allow additional time to refill any excavated area; and to delete the minimum of 51 percent ownership interest provision for the One Broadway Plaza (OBP) office tower at 1109 North Broadway. (Vince Fregoso)

PUBLISHED IN THE ORANGE COUNTY REPORTER: June 4, 2010 PUBLICLY NOTICED

RECOMMENDATION:

Recommend that the City Council adopt an ordinance approving certain amendments to Development Agreement No. 2004-01. June 4, 2010 2. STAFF COMMENTS 3. PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBER COMMENTS 4.
ADJOURNMENT EXCUSE OF ABSENCES

Jeff Dickman, President
Historic French Park Association
( 714-240-0883  714-240-0883 )

And here is a letter from Santa Ana resident Julie Humphreys, to the Santa Ana Planning Commission:

City of Santa Ana
Planning Commission
22 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Re: AMENDMENT TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT NO. 2004-01

Filed by One Broadway Plaza LLC, to modify certain provisions of the development agreement to delete the 50 percent pre-leasing requirement; to allow the applicant to request assistance from the Redevelopment Agency; adjust the timing of the funding for the neighborhood traffic studies; allow additional time to refill any excavated area; and to delete the minimum of 51 percent ownership interest provision for the One Broadway Plaza (OBP) office tower at 1109 North Broadway.

Dear Planning Commission,

I strongly object to the above request to amend Development Agreement No. 2004-01. The 50% pre-leasing requirement, the private funding, the promised neighborhood traffic studies and improvements, building & excavation timelines, and OBP ownership interest were all integral parts of the Development Agreement that was previously approved, not only by the city, but by public electorate in a city-wide vote. Because the residents of the City of Santa Ana—in a public referendum—voted to approve this development as represented in Development Agreement No. 2004-01, I seriously question whether the Planning Commission has the authority to modify the Development Agreement that was fundamental to the voters’ approval.

It is quite clear from the information on the ballot that the voters were approving the project and other changes the construction would bring based upon these significant protections and assurances contained within the Development Agreement. From the voter pamphlets to the language of the referendum itself, the voters knew that in order to prevent the building of an empty, un-leased building—or one filled with relocated government tenants—the developer would have to pre-lease the building 50% with “class A” tenants prior to construction. The voters knew that the developer was required to provide significant traffic improvements (and studies) prior to construction. The developer traded on his ownership and commitment to the project in obtaining City Council and voter approval for the project. And, last, but not least, the voters knew that this was a privately-funded project and that they were not being asked to use public funds to build this project. Each and every one of these elements was fundamental to obtaining prior approval for this project.

All of the grandiose promises of this proposed development have come to naught. Yes, there is now an empty lot, but better an empty lot than an empty building. And if the plan is simply to relocate public agency tenants from other downtown buildings to this one—there would be no net growth for Santa Ana, and a lot of empty buildings.

The residents of the City of Santa Ana will have to live with this project long after any temporary construction jobs it may create have ended. If the project does not make financial sense as a private venture, it makes even less sense to use precious Redevelopment dollars—the public’s money—to invest in this failed, private business venture. The prospective tenants of this project have all spoken: there is simply no interest in leasing new office space in this location. Moreover, this is not the only way for the city to create jobs. There is a glut of unused office space in this city and this County, and it would be irresponsible for the city to pour public funds down this private trough when there are so many other real public needs and many more worthwhile public projects that would benefit more city residents—any one of which will also create jobs.

VOTE “NO” ON THIS PROPOSED AMENDMENT.

Sincerely,

Julie Humphreys

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

3 thoughts on “Santa Ana Planning Commission to consider changes to the OBP developer agreement tonight”
  1. This one is all take and no give.

    It should be rejected, sent back so there can be some give and take involved.

    Such as:

    (1) 50 percent pre-leasing {coupled} with increase in infrastructure contributions

    The project was billed as a 75 million project when the agreement was signed with the city sealing mitigation costs at 12 million. A few weeks later the newspapers pegged the project at 330 million.

    So increase mitigation cost another 12 to 25 million up front OR a melo ruse assessment to fund the parks in the station district (2 percent would bring in 6 million a year) (nice)

    (2) adjust the timing of the funding for the neighborhood traffic studies {coupled} with the immediate funding and building of the school drop off facility.

    This important mitigation should have been done years ago.

    Until the drop off point is finished OBP LLC should pay for crossing guards at 4 to 6 intersections on Broadway and Main.

    (3) allow additional time to refill any excavated area; and to delete the minimum of 51 percent ownership {coupled} with the immediate funding and building of the road improvements promised.

    This important mitigation should have been done years ago also.

    Another reason for the crossing guards, and increased traffic cop enforcement for the government employees who blast down Broadway at speeds above the 25 MPH limit at OBP.

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