The letter from the Willners of Monterey Park about the Atlantic Square project (Times, Sept. 30) implied that my firm, Kotin, Regan & Mouchly Inc., is biased as the city's consultant on this transaction. Apparently, the Willners believe this is so because a portion of our fee is being reimbursed to the city by the developer, Champion Development Corp. This allegation is erroneous and indicates that the Willners are uninformed.
It is common practice for cities and other public agencies to ask developers to share the costs incurred in evaluating developers' proposals. These costs often, in fact usually, include consultants' fees.
KRM has supported public agencies in their negotiations with private developers for more than 10 years. Within the last few years, KRM has supported and participated in highly controversial negotiations with developers on behalf of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors, the Santa Barbara Redevelopment Agency and several other smaller agencies. In all of these engagements, all or a portion of the fees charged by KRM to the public agency were reimbursed by the developer.
KRM has never and will never accept fees directly from a developer who is engaged in negotiation with a public agency that is a client of KRM. Accordingly, KRM has never had any financial or business relationship with Champion. It is a shame that such an inappropriate allegation was made with respect to a technique designed to save public money yet assure that cities have professional consulting support in evaluating and negotiating complex real estate transactions.