A Massive Gift of Public Money

In December, as the Friends will remember, the City of Fullerton sold a public parking lot to a so-called developer for $1,400,000. The “developer” had the task of building a boutique hotel and an apartment block. FFFF has already documented the ridiculous density the City has bestowed upon the project. So let’s revisit the topic of land value, a calculation based on the number of residential units a developer can cram onto a parcel of land.

Look, it even has the café the bureaucrats demanded!

In this case we know precisely how many units are proposed because the development agreement tells us. There are going to be 141 apartment units and 118 hotel rooms – rooms that will undoubtedly be converted to low income housing when the hotel concept fails. Dividing 259 units by $1.4 million gives us $5400 per “door” as they say in the biz.

Does that number seem low? I didn’t really know, so I contacted some pros at Land Advisors who informed me that a more typical number is in the range of $60,000 to $65,000 per unit in these parts, which produces a land value of about $15.5 million and above.

So the “economic development” geniuses in City Hall got the City Council to agree to a massive reduction in value for the sale of the land, a reduction that could be in the neighborhood of $14,000,000.

Now we all know that government and its agents shield themselves (or try very hard to) from accountability for this type of incredible giveaway. It’s not a crime to be stupid, and so there the issue of legal malfeasance can be fuzzy without proof of corruption. But here there is the issue of misfeasance that in this case justifies the initiation of a recall of the elected representatives who voted for this evident gift of public funds.

Mother’s milk…

And those three representatives are Ahmad Zahra, Shana Charles and Bruce Whitaker.

Now, undoubtedly, these three politicos would argue that they had great reasons for “subsidizing” this boondoggle, and that those excellent reasons are well-worth the $14,000,000 they happily pitched at the developer, an individual, we must remember, who brought this unsolicited proposal to the City. But the City, remember, never did its due diligence by opening up this concept (or any other) for a submission of qualifications by those who might have been interested. No. Not even after several years had gone by and the proposer had been granted several extensions of a Exclusive Negotiating Agreement and the proposal kept metastasizing.

Are a “boutique” hotel at the train tracks and yet another overbearing apartment block so important that they justify the $14,000,000 giveaway? Well, I would challenge Charles, Whitaker and Zahra to prove it to voters in their districts.

12 Replies to “A Massive Gift of Public Money”

  1. Agree 1000%. Recall them all. They’re either too crooked or too fucking stupid to understand what they’ve done. Either way we need them to be gone.

  2. I’d vote to get rid of them, especially that boob Whitaker who was supposed to be some sort of conservative.

  3. Recall them all! They are thieves!! Fullerton is no better than Anaheim if this goes thru.. the FBI should look into this matter!

  4. Has anyone seen the City’s appraisal report for the property? Cities cannot sell or purchase property without a certified property appraisal and report which then becomes a public record if the city council approves the purchase or sale in a public meeting. Was the property sold before or after entitlements for the project were approved? That would impact the per door sale/purchase price.

  5. Another shining example which proves Fullerton voters are most docile, ignorant sheeple in Orange County!

  6. Does anyone in Fullerton have the courage to recall these robbers?
    Rob from the elderly! Rob from the handicap! RECALL!! All press is good press to these Robbers! RECALL!

  7. The question is not recall. It is always who has the courage to recall and what the justification is for said recall. Recalling council for a giveaway of public funds of this kind of proportion is justified. The question remains, who in Fullerton has the courage to recall. Voters are waiting.

  8. Let’s examine just one tiny lie that if someone with half a brain would have seen the writing on the wall: The so called developer has never developed anything. But he “said” it’s gonna cost them over $600,000 to clean up a toxic Santa Fe Ave. land site. A property that was purchased by the Revelopment Agency and cleaned up like a whistle.

    If it really was toxic it would be listed on the DTCS’s website. But guess what? It’s not listed on the department of toxic substance controls website! Use google and find out for yourself.

    The DTSC has every known contaminated site on their website from Fullerton, all of Orange County and LA County, that prime 2 acre property is not listed as a toxic site. So it’s not. Period. $600,000 LIE!

    Staff falls for a $600,000 reduction in the sales price to do what? Export the dirt needed to build a subterranean parking garage below a mega apartment complex.
    So the $1.4 million sale is an $800,000 sale. Are you kidding me? That property with those proposed entitlements make the property worth $16 million. That one deal, made by a few business minded people could have saved Fullerton from its downward spiral into bankruptcy. Doctor Shana Charles, Ahmad Zhara, and Bruce Whitaker have no sense whatsoever when it comes to land value, or much else for that matter, they couldn’t even run a dog grooming business let alone a city. They really need to go before it’s too late.

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