No, it's not a first for the City of Huntington Beach, it's just a continuation of losses for the residents.
The latest in "deals" made by the city is the project known as "Town Square"--or, as some call it, "The Town Slot Machine." This is how it is going to pay off for some.
The city will be paid the sum of $19,000 per condominium unit, based on 89 units, which comes to nearly $1.7 million. To receive this money, the city has agreed to give up title to the property so that the developer can use it as collateral to borrow the money from the bank. That approach is used when you are trying to sell a piece of property on the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro and get no takers, not for beach property in high demand.
Let's look at the other way this could have been built: The city could have put it to bid and could have said, 'Build 34 single-family homes. This will cut down on traffic and the high density of 89 condominiums.' The 34 lots would sell for $135,000 each, amounting to $4.5 million in cash to be paid at the close of a 30-day escrow. No waiting till the project was sold and no chance of city's losing a dime.
Let's think of the taxpaying people of this city. If the state and county go to bid on property, why doesn't the City of Huntington Beach?
HOWARD D. SUBNICK