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Mayor, Councilmembers Announce Settlement in 101 Ash Street Dispute

101 Ash St. downtown San Diego has been a source of controversy for San Diego city leaders and candidates.
101 Ash St. downtown San Diego has been a source of controversy for San Diego city leaders and candidates. Photo by Chris Stone

Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council members announced Monday a proposed legal settlement with the owners of 101 Ash Street and Civic Center Plaza after years of controversy.

The two downtown office buildings were acquired by the city through leaseholds during the tenure of Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The settlement will transfer property ownership to the city and compensate the city for $ 7.4 million in profit made by Cisterra Development by selling 101 Ash, while allowing Cisterra to retain $ 6.2 million in profit from the sale. of Civic Center Plaza. In addition, lender CGA Capital will waive a $ 11.7 million fee.

Both transactions were marred by the involvement of real estate agent Jason Hughes, and nothing in the settlement will prevent the city or county attorney from filing a possible lawsuit against him.

Gloria said the settlement would save taxpayers $ 15 million and avoid costly litigation.

“Because there was no ideal outcome to this urban catastrophe, our goal was to achieve a legal, fair settlement that limits the city’s responsibility and is in the interest of the taxpayers, which is what this proposed settlement is about,” Gloria said. . .

“Nothing in the proposed settlement exempts anyone from any criminal wrongdoing,” he said. “Law enforcement can – and should – continue to investigate anyone who may be criminally liable as part of this transaction and its consequences. “What this settlement is doing is putting the needs of the city and its inhabitants first.”

“It’s time to dump her and move on,” said Council member Chris Kate, the only Republican on the board. “As we look to the future, taxpayers deserve the certainty that they will leave this bad deal behind.”

“The 101 Ash epic was an urban tragedy that should infuriate any San Diego. “Millionaire liars and an incompetent previous administration have put our city in a terrible position that has cost San Diego years of progress, millions of dollars and eroded public confidence,” said City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. “The proposed settlement, although not ideal, is the best business choice available in the city.”

The agreement ensures that the city’s 800 employees can stay at Civic Center Plaza without interruption and provides maximum flexibility in what to do with the city’s five blocks, including the Civic Center and the Ash Street building.

The settlement talks took place over a period of 18 months under the guidance of retired federal judge Jan Adler. The city was represented by External Legal Adviser Dick Semerdjian of the Schwartz Semerdjian law firm.

The settlement will be discussed with the San Diego City Council next Monday.

Mayor, Councilmembers Announce Settlement in 101 Ash Street Dispute Source link Mayor, Councilmembers Announce Settlement in 101 Ash Street Dispute

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