More Light Shed On Fairgrounds Acquisition Plan
Very late Monday night, tonight, the City issued a new, updated agenda for Tuesday's City Council meeting which contained a new staff report for New Business #2 dealing with the acquisition of the Orange County Fair and Events Center. I'll try to summarize this document for you, but you can read the whole thing HERE.
TIGHT TIME LINE REQUIRED CREATIVITY
The report, authored by City Manager Allan Roeder, begins by providing a brief history of the process to this point and emphasized the extraordinary nature of this negotiation. As mentioned by Councilman Eric Bever when he went into his pouty sulk recently, there didn't seem to be time to properly address all the complex facets of this process based on the time constraints imposed by the State.
TASKS COMPLETED BY FIRST DEADLINE
Here are the tasks completed by the initial deadline of April 21, 2010:
1. Preparation of proposed Terms & Conditions for the Sale & Purchase Agreement;
2. Legal research regarding options and authorities for City purchase of the OCFEC;
3. Detailed review of OCFEC finances, lease commitments, capital investment and operating expenses;
4. Review of options to acquire the property without financial obligation or risk to Costa Mesa residents; and
5. Solicitation of private sector proposals to operate the OCFEC on a contract basis.
That's an astounding amount of work to be completed in such a short time.
NORMAL "REQUESTS FOR PROPOSAL" PROCESS
Roeder explained that, under normal circumstances, the process of drafting an appropriate "Request for Proposals" for a private sector operator would take a minimum of six months. Accordingly, the City contacted all the firms who previously submitted bids - certainly not a standard practice by any means.
FOUR BIDDERS EXPRESSED INTEREST
Of the firms that made proposals in the early negotiations with the State for the purchase of the Fairgrounds, four responded to the City's RFP - Craig Realty; American Fairs and Festivals, Inc.; Advanced Real Estate Services, Inc. and Facilities Management West, Inc. Craig Realty eventually withdrew. Advanced Real Estate Services went into partnership with American Fairs and Festivals and Facilities Management West remained interested.
TWO ENTITIES INVITED TO MAKE PRESENTATIONS
Both of the remaining entities were invited to make fifteen minute presentations to the council Tuesday. Only American Fairs and Festivals/Advance Real Estate Services accepted. Facilities Management West declined and submitted a written proposal. You can view that as an attachment to the staff report. In a nutshell, it DOES NOT anticipate public ownership of the Fairgrounds. Their organization would purchase the property and run it.
LONG AND INTERESTING MEETING GUARANTEED
As I said in my previous post, Tuesday's council meeting may be a long one and it most certainly will be an interesting one. I don't recall in recent memory a meeting with the potential to have so many "meaty" discussions in one sitting. We'll report on it later.
Labels: Fairgrounds Sale