The Malibu City Council directed its city staff Monday to reopen negotiations for a new City Hall location to spur competition between the top two candidates.
The council had recently decided after a brief bidding war to move into offices formerly occupied by the Sheriff's Department in a county-owned building in the Civic Center complex. But in a last-minute effort to keep the city as a tenant, the new owner of the Stuart Ranch Road building that houses the offices unveiled an offer April 12. The two buildings are less than half a mile apart.
Glendale Federal Bank, which assumed ownership of the Stuart Ranch Road building through foreclosure, offered a lease with five months of free rent, free office space planning and alterations to suit the city. At Monday's meeting, Tony Dorn, the bank's representative, presented yet another offer that he said would make the building $69,000 cheaper than the county building over five years.
Sheriff's Lt. Michael Moore defended the county's offer, saying the sheriff's station offered a desirable location in the Civic Center complex, abundant parking and office space on one floor, compared with a two-floor configuration at the Stuart Ranch Road building.