Fullerton’s Most Expensive Park?

Just when you thought the Parks and Recreation Department might get their act together comes another gem on next week’s agenda.  This time, it’s a $903,500 land purchase for a new park at 3001 Pearl Drive.

The vacant lot used to be home to a swimming pool and clubhouse for the adjacent apartment complexes, which the 33 property owners failed to maintain.  Those same property owners now want the City to build a park contingent on the City forking over cash to buy the land.

So what is the land worth?  $740,000 according to the appraiser, who notes that an “extraordinary assumption” to build  high-density housing was used.  Translation:  The $740,000 estimate could be totally worthless and the appraiser admits it.  Nothing more is divulged about the appraised value because Hugo Curiel only included two pages from the appraisal report.   Page One and Page Two

And it gets worse.  Hugo wants an additional 20 percent of the appraised value ($148,000) for an administrative settlement to be paid out to the property owners.  Once again, Hugo fails to provide any sort of written justification for this:

The parcel is 0.398 acres in size.  At that price, it is equivalent to $2.27 million per acre which is more than double the price Chevron is asking for Coyote Hills land.  This would be the most expensive land ever purchased for a Fullerton park.

I have a question. Why should we pay the property owners a premium price when it was their own negligence that created this situation?  In fact, why pay them anything at all, provided the City agrees to build a park?

Makes you wonder if the property owners are more interested in a cash payout for themselves, or a park for the neighborhood’s benefit.

10 Replies to “Fullerton’s Most Expensive Park?”

  1. Hugo doesn’t get it. The public no longer trusts him, so he needs to be as transparent as possible.

    That’s a problem since his ideas are terrible and opaqueness is necessary to get council to support them.

  2. Dirt, weeds and trash? It already looks and functions like a Fullerton park. Why should we pay for it? It even has parking.

    1. Yep, if code enforcement made the owner (the association) pick up the mattresses then it would look better than Hillcrest Park. Instead, we pay the owner (the association) a million dollars. Dumb.

      1. I checked on Google maps. Why is the association allowed to leave mattresses and trash on the property? Do we not have code enforcement?

  3. Who is going to use this park in the middle of an association? The association members are going to use it. They should donate it.

    It’s simple. They’re never going to get a million dollars out of a sale. The city is trying to pay too much. That’s wasteful.

  4. If the owners just gave the land to the city, why should the City of Fullerton build a park there? Look at the Google satellite imagery above. I count at least 17 cars parked on the lot. The current Google street view has 16 cars. If a park was actually built there, these cars would be parking on the surrounding streets. So if someone wanted to actually go to this park, where would they park?

    What’s really happening here is the apartment owners had a (private) recreation facility that they didn’t want to pay to maintain. So they want to sell the lot to Fullerton (at a hugely inflated price) so the city can build a city owned (but virtually private) recreation facility. The only people who will be using the park are those who at one time used the previous facility owned by the apartment owners. The owners pocket the $900K+ and Hugo and company get to pat themselves on the back for providing more park space for the city. It’s a win-win for everyone. What could go wrong?

    Hugo, you seem to forget (or more likely ignore) that the city is well on the way to bankruptcy. Remember Hugo, it wasn’t those wacko malcontents on FFFF that said that the city will run through our reserves and be insolvent in 4 years, it was the city treasurer. Your city treasurer. We can’t maintain the parks we have, but you keep wanting to spend money on capital projects instead of maintaining our current infrastructure.

    With the current fiscal situation of Fullerton, why would any thinking, responsible person want to suggest a project of this nature and cost? So Hugo, just exactly what is in this deal for you?

    And while you are trying to sell this project to the city council, enlighten all of us on just why the city needs to spend an extra $148,000 just for the privilege of paying an inflated price for an unneeded piece of property. And just what is the park going to cost to build, AFTER spending over $900,000 to buy the land.

    We all want to know.

    1. If those pathetic Home Depot DIY quality stairs cost $1.6M, a mere $900K for actual land seems like a bargain.

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