The City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, voted this week to condemn two lots on Huntington Drive totaling 14,500 square feet.
The agency is assembling 1.2 acres for redevelopment on the southwest corner of Huntington Drive and 2nd Avenue.
The city has been negotiating since April to buy the property. Peter Kinnahan, assistant city manager for economic development, said the owners' asking price was "far in excess of what we feel is fair market value." He said the property has been vacant for at least six years.
The agency has already acquired parcels to the east and is in escrow for land west of the site.
Rena Aminpour, a real estate agent representing the owners, said the agency had offered to pay $33 per square foot for the property.
"We have a buyer for $55 per square foot," she said. "The city is forcing us to sell for less money, and the people can do nothing."