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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

LOS ANGELES : Developer Offers Option to Transit Building Plan

April 16, 1993

Stung by the transit chief's recommendation this week to house the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in one building at Union Station, a developer fired the first salvo Thursday in what may become a bidding war for the project.

Developer Ray Watt, whose building proposal was passed over by MTA chief Franklin White because it was considered too expensive, presented his revised proposal to transit officials for a cheaper, larger building.

Under Watt's new plan, the transportation agency would be housed in a 30-story building that would cost $134 million, or $36 million less than the option that White endorsed this week.

White said Monday that he believed that adding more stories to the Catellus Development's Union Station Gateway project was the "superior" solution for housing the transit agency. The Gateway project, expanded to 26 stories, would cost $170 million and eliminate the need for a second building--such as the one Watt had proposed.

Initially, Watt had proposed construction of a second transportation building for $111 million at 7th and Bixel streets. This building and the Gateway project would have cost $230 million.

Transit officials are expected to make a decision within several weeks.

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