Thought you might be interested in this article.
GT's new RDA (Joyce Powers) is in it.
The person hired by the City of Grand Terrace was apart of this Development Burden on the Citizens of Riverside.
We have a pattern of getting folks with a Resume that is more of a person shoved out of a job and recommended to the City of Grand Terrace to get them out of their prior employment. This is an old Human Resource trick. Don't fire a person, or lay them off, that will cost you money. Get them a job in some where else if they don't work well in your organization.
Steve Berry was such a hire, and now we look forward to the same thing in our Planning Director.
Will we ever learn....?
Riverside officials feeling buyer's remorse about downtown office building deal
10:00 PM PDT on Friday, October 24, 2008
By DAVID DANELSKI
Some former and current Riverside officials regret parts of the deal they made with a developer who is building a 10-story office tower downtown.
Because they thought the developer would be bringing new business to the city center, Riverside officials reduced the parking requirement by one-fourth and agreed to sell more than 400 spaces in a city parking structure to the developer at a $3 million discount.
Now, as Riverside County will be buying the Regency Tower at Orange and 10th streets for the district attorney's office, the $3 million discount becomes, in essence, a subsidy for the county. And having a public agency in the building means no new major businesses will move in.
In addition, the large executive offices the developer said justified the reduced parking requirement will become more ordinary office space for hundreds of county employees.
"In hindsight, it probably should have said in the ... (development agreement) that it shouldn't be sold to a public agency," City Councilman Frank Schiavone said this week.
Former council member Dom Betro said he had hoped that 10 stories of prime "Class A" office space would have given downtown a big economic boost by attracting a flock of new professionals supporting restaurants, stores and other city initiatives, such as a renovated Fox Theatre.
But now the 10-story building will shift government employees already downtown and put on the market lower-quality office spaces that the district attorney will vacate, Betro said.
Schiavone and Councilman Mike Gardner said they will never let it happen again.
A more recent development agreement, for a proposed office project on Olivewood Avenue a couple of blocks south of 14th Street, includes a clause prohibiting the developer from selling the property to a government agency.
And future deals intended to entice private investment will include protections to keep them that way, the councilmen said.
Last year, city officials and Regency Tower developer Moshe Silagi worked out a deal for him to use a city parking garage across the street from the office tower.
The $17.3 million parking garage was completed in 2005 and now houses city utility offices on the ground floor and has five stories of parking for a total of 540 spaces.
In January 2007, the city estimated it cost about $7 million to construct the 400 parking spaces they intended to provide to Silagi.
The City Council approved a deal for Silagi to acquire weekday use of the 400 spaces for $4 million.
The city redevelopment agency will pay the $3 million difference. The agency typically uses its fund to attract or bolster business in designated areas of the city, including downtown.
Interim Assistant City Manager Belinda Graham said the $4 million was based on the market value of renting spaces and added that the public still will have access at night and on weekends.
Graham and Joyce Powers, the city's former downtown development manager, had negotiated the development agreement with Silagi. A Laguna Hills attorney hired by the city, David Mann, reviewed the agreement.
Schiavone, a building contractor, said the deal was a significant subsidy because it would have cost Silagi much more to build the parking spaces himself.
Silagi got another parking break from the city in June 2007 when the city scaled back its parking requirement for his project.
City downtown design standards require four parking slots per 1,000 square feet of office space, meaning that the Silagi needed more than 1,000 parking spaces for his 250,000-plus- square-foot building.
But city officials required only 730 because they expected spacious executive suites in the Regency Tower .
"The higher rents required for this new building will exclude ... uses that typically have much higher employee densities and consequently higher parking needs," said a city report.
Government buildings typically are more crowded, Schiavone said.
"The county is really going to have a problem," he said. "It is under-parked."
Schiavone said he hopes the county will make up the parking deficiency by purchasing the parking garage at a price that will allow the city to build a replacement to meet the needs of the public.
The city deal with Silagi would leave 140 spaces for public parking in the structure, but District Attorney Rod Pacheco made it clear last year that he wants a secure parking structure for only his employees and other county workers, according to county records.
Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione said the county is always in the market for more parking spaces and will consider buying the city garage.
"But the county board isn't inclined to make the city whole on what Frank (Schiavone) perceives to be a bad deal," Tavaglione said.
He said the county probably helped downtown Riverside by acquiring the building. Because of the bad economy, the building might otherwise have remained vacant for years, Tavaglione said.
Staff writer Doug Haberman contributed to this report.
Reach David Danelski at 951-368-9471 or ddanelski@PE.com