will pay $1 to remain at the Louise Street site until at least March.
The city will also grant the organization use of the adjacent
Marketplace parking garage and install a door at the east side of the
garage for access to a new facility it will build on the property.
The city needs 15.5 acres to develop the Town Center, which will
include shops, restaurants and residential units.
Resident Margaret Hammond said several larger lots along Brand
have been purchased for less money following appraisals.
"I believe all taxpayers selling properties to [the Redevelopment
Agency] should be treated equally," she told the City Council on
Tuesday. "If appraisals are required for all other properties, then
why is there an exception being made regarding 221 South Brand? I can't understand it."
City Atty. Scott Howard said state law does not require an
appraisal unless the purchase is made through eminent domain, in
which the city takes over property for public use.
When Hammond asked how she could take action against the city's
decision at a meeting in March, Howard resisted.
"It's not my position to provide legal advice to individuals who
want to seek to sue the city," he said later. "My job, as provided by
the city charter, is to give legal advice to the City Council, city
staff, city officers and city employees."
Following instruction from then-Councilman and agency chairman
Frank Quintero, Howard told Hammond that taxpayers can challenge
public agency action if it wastes tax money, and suggested she hire a
Hammond said she has contacted a lawyer for legal advice.
Development Services Director Jeanne Armstrong said each purchase
included different circumstances, and this purchase included
relocation costs, among others.
Armstrong confirmed that appraisals were done on all other
purchases for the Town Center.
"Each is an individual," she said. "The value of each property has
a different base and sometimes as a rule you pay more for square
footage for smaller properties than you do for larger properties."