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Newport to hear proposals for old city hall location

Three developers will present the council with options to reuse the site as a hotel or commercial and residential space.

April 20, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck

Newport Beach's City Council this week will consider just how their old municipal center will get new life.

Three developers will reveal their proposals for a hotel or residential and commercial complex to replace Newport's recently vacated city hall at 3300 Newport Blvd. on the Balboa Peninsula.

Earlier this month, the city moved its operations to the new $131-million Civic Center near fashion island. The City Council has met there since December.

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They will get a first look at what could happen to their old digs during a study session at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Three development groups — RD Olson Development, Sonnenblick Development and The Shopoff Group — have submitted plans for what they would build at the 4-acre site.

Each will give a 20-minute presentation and take input from the council and public.

Last year, the city sent out a request for qualified developers who could build either a boutique hotel or a residential mixed-use complex to replace old city hall.

Fifteen companies responded. City staff and the Ad-Hoc Neighborhood Revitalization Committee then narrowed those down to six, with three hoping to build a hotel and three hoping to build the mixed-use complex..

Only three developers ultimately submitted proposals.

RD Olson Development's proposal is a 130-room hotel called Lido House Hotel, complete with a signature restaurant and day spa.

Sonnenblick Development also proposes a hotel and spa with 148 rooms called The Auberge Resorts Newport Beach.

According to their proposals, both would include retail room, parking and significant public space for locals.

The Shopoff Group is the only developer to submit a plan for a mixed-use residential complex.

The project would be 99 flats or townhouses that average about 1,500 square feet, according to the proposal.

It would also include 15,000 square feet of retail space, in addition to greenways, walkways and a town square that add up to an acre of public space, according to the proposal.

After the presentations, city staff will explore the proposals and return to the council with recommendations in May or June.

All three plans are available to view online at newportbeachca.gov/CityHallReuse.

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Trash collection

During its regular council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Newport may also test the waters of outsourcing its waste management.

The council will weigh issuing a request for proposals from outside agencies for trash-collection services.

Currently, city employees collect, sort and dispose of trash from the majority of homes in Newport, but a staff report estimates the city could see a $6 million one-time savings by dismantling its trash-collection fleet and a $410,000 annual savings.

Some council members have expressed skepticism about whether Newport can maintain its current high level of trash service and save money by outsourcing, which is why they asked to review the request for proposal before asking for bids.

The proposal would have to include certain core services, but bidders are allowed to mirror or deviate from the current trash system that does not require residents to separate out recyclables.

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