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Mailbag:

Mansoor has given city racist name

January 03, 2008

Ron Hendrickson’s answers to the “City Hall Debate” (Dec. 30), demonstrate that not only is Measure B the most expensive city hall option, but its supporters have no idea what might actually be built.

Hendrickson uses the DMJM report to attack the OCTA site, but then runs away from the DMJM conclusions on the park site. For example, DMJM needed 3.7 acres and expensive underground parking to make city hall fit on this site.

The city’s consultants put the cost of parking at $58,000 per space. The city’s consultants also put the cost of site preparation at $6.5 million. He said we can have a parking structure and a city hall, all on 2.8 acres, and not impact views or traffic.

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He even asserts trees can be planted that cannot be seen from above.

He never addresses the need to move more than 65,000 cubic yards of dirt to dig this site down into the hill to meet view requirements. His claim that this site is $13 million cheaper than the flat Newport Center site is simply false. He later said, “the design of city hall will be up to the council.”

It is clear that because there has been no environmental, traffic, cost effectiveness or design studies, they don’t know what might be built, how much it will cost or what it would look like. What is clear is that it would destroy Newport Center Park.

Karen E. Tringali

Corona del Mar

Measure B has costly ramifications

Sunday’s “City Hall debate” raised an interesting question. “What is the long-term value to the city to acquire the city hall site in Newport Center?” By purchasing this site for $7.7 million and building a $27.5 million city hall and $7 million in parking, this $7 million parcel would be worth $42 million at completion. Within five to 10 years it would be worth $50 million-plus. After 20 years, $100 million and in 50 years, when it is time to replace city hall again, $200 million. The fact is, there is not a person in town, if they had the means and the opportunity, who would not buy a $7 million parcel in Newport Center.

Of course, if Measure B passes, the city will be forced to build city hall on the park site and will lose the option to acquire the Newport Center property. The Irvine Co. will then have the ability to develop an additional 72,000 square feet of private office space. In 50 years, the Irvine Co. asset base will be worth $200 million more and the value to the taxpayers will be lost. Perhaps that is why big developer interests are funding Measure B.

Bernie Svalstad

Corona del Mar

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