Orange County Fairgrounds On The Block!
LA TIMES AND OC REGISTER REPORT FAIRGROUNDS FOR SALE
The Los Angeles Times, HERE, and the Orange County Register, HERE, both reported about an hour ago that the state has officially placed the Orange County Fairgrounds up for sale and will begin accepting bids immediately through January 8, 2010. It is hoped that the sale will be completed by the fall of next year.
FAIR BOARD MEMBERS TO BID ON IT
According to the Los Angeles Times article, last night a group of fair board members and local politicians signed papers to form the Orange County Fair and Event Center Foundation, which will be made up of six members from the existing fair board, two members from the city of Costa Mesa, two members from the county and one public member elected by the board for the specific purpose of putting together a bid to purchase the land. If that group is configured as reported it gives the former Fair Board members the majority and control of the bid, regardless what members from Costa Mesa may think.
CITY SAYS IT WILL STAY A FAIRGROUNDS
This should be very, very interesting because Costa Mesa city officials have recently stated adamantly that the 150 acres that forms the property in question will remain zoned as a fairgrounds, which will significantly reduce it's value to potential bidders. According to the news reports, the governor's office estimated that the site could be sold for $96 to $180 million. In these troubled financial times, it remains to be seen if anyone is willing to pony up that kind of cash for a fairgrounds.
On the other hand, if the city's promise (threat) to maintain the present zoning somehow gets quashed, that chunk of freeway-assessable land certainly could draw a fancy price if used for residential or commercial development.
This is going to be a very interesting story to follow over the next year or so.