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Newport Beach

August 25, 2000|Mathis Winkler, (949) 574-4232

The City Council selected a developer this week to possibly build a $30-million luxury hotel at Balboa Peninsula's Marinapark.

While the decision does not mean council members have formally approved the project, it limits further discussion to a single developer for the time being.

The developer, Newport Beach-based Sutherland Talla Hospitality, has proposed to build 156 rooms in 18 Italian-style villas, as well as two vintage 1950s yachts with luxury suites. The proposal also includes a spa, tennis, sailing and rowing clubs, and shops and restaurants. The city could earn as much as $30 million in lease payments, hotel taxes and food and beverage taxes over the first decade, according to the proposal.

The site is currently home to American Legion Post 291, a Girl Scout facility and a mobile home park. Sutherland's proposal keeps the Girl Scout facility in its place.

Residents of the Marinapark Mobile Home Park would have to vacate the land if the project becomes reality. In February, the council extended the lease for the mobile homes for another two years.

But council members made it clear that without consent from the American Legion, the plan would fail.

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