"What most people don't realize, $72 million in 1992, it cost way more to build than what was financially viable in those days," said Lamm, a former deputy city manager. "The original lease rents couldn't even pay for the debt service. Costs went over what the developer thought. The original owner never made a profit."
The property was eventually sold at discount to Triangle Square Investments LLC, which recruited a Los Angeles-based marketing company to generate business in 2000. That effort didn't pan out, however, and Greenlaw Partners bought Triangle Square for an undisclosed amount in 2006.
Residents have said Triangle Square is a 200,000-square-foot ghost town, a failure that withers in the shadow of Costa Mesa's commercial jewels: South Coast Plaza and MetroPointe.