Stone Lock property sale: to developer, or to Port?

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE –  March 28, 2011

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

    At about 5 p.m. on March 28, the City of West Sacramento announced a special closed-door meeting of the city council to take place at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29.

The topic is the continuing negotiations over the possible sale of the 215-acre, publicly owned “Stone Lock District” acreage to The Cordish Companies, a nationally-known developer.

     The land near the barge canal and Sacramento River is owned by the city’s redevelopment agency. Governor Brown proposes to abolish the agencies to save state revenues, and West Sacramento officials say that the city may have to dispose of the Stone Lock District property and other redevelopment agency properties in some sort of “fire sale” if the governor’s plan goes through.

The effort to sell Cordish an “option to buy” the Stone Lock acreage sometime in the future would protect the land from such a fire sale. But the two parties haven’t yet come to terms.

The agenda for tomorrow’s closed session meeting says, in part, that the city wants the deal to include a requirement that Cordish agree to a development agreement before it could ever exercise its option to buy the land. The development agreement would allow the city to negotiate what ends up getting built on the project.

“If (Cordish’s holding company) accepts this condition, then staff is prepared to recommend approval of the sale of the Stone Lock District Property subject to the conditions of the Option Agreement,” says the agenda description from city staff. But Cordish doesn’t agree the deal will include a development agreement, then “staff is prepared to recommend approval of the sale of the Stone Lock Property to the Port of West Sacramento.”

The port is controlled by the city.

The proposed option agreement on the table last Wednesday called for Cordish to pay $500 initially, and then $75,000 annually, to maintain the right to buy any or all of five parcels making up the acreage. The option will last seven years unless Cordish terminates it or both parties extend it. Actual price of any land sold would be set by future appraisal, but the city staff report for last week’s council meeting said the land is currently appraised at about $2.5 million.

Copyright News-Ledger 2011

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