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Old Newport City Hall site reuse report released

July 02, 2013|By Jill Cowan

A staff report released ahead of Tuesday's Newport Beach City Council meeting recommends that the council move forward with plans for a boutique hotel proposed by RD Olson Development to replace the old city hall, now vacant, on the Balboa Peninsula.

The council will be able to choose from three proposals — the RD Olson plan for a 130-room hotel, a 99-unit mixed-use residential complex by the Shopoff Group and a Sonnenblick Development plan for a 148-room hotel.

"The hotel proposed by RD Olson is not projected to generate the highest revenue to the city or the largest economic impact to the community," the report says. "However, the construction costs and stabilized average daily rates proposed by RD Olson are more similar to the costs and rates identified [in a 2012 analysis] and would appear to reduce the risk of the project's financial under-performance."

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While the RD Olson proposal puts its hotel's average daily rate at about $279 per room, the hotel developed by Sonnenblick would rent rooms at a higher price point. Its average daily rate would be about $379 per night.

Meanwhile, units in the Shopoff Group development would have an average rent of $5,058 per month, according to the report.

Furthermore, according to the report, the design proposed by RD Olson fits best, architecturally, with the "overall coastal and Mediterranean style envisioned" in Lido Village design guidelines.

Community members have supported using the site on Newport Boulevard for a boutique hotel, saying that a hotel would ultimately better help revitalize the lagging Lido Village area than more homes and retail space.

The public will have another chance to weigh in on the issue before the vote at the council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

All three groups also will present their proposals.

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