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Our Times / Orange County Communities

Costa Mesa

May 23, 2000|Andrew Glazer, (949) 574-4275

The City Council has decided not to move City Hall to an elegant building at the corner of 19th Street and Newport Boulevard.

Instead, the city's redevelopment agency will aggressively seek a tenant for the building, which has been vacant since 1991, city officials said.

"It has become a landmark symbol, done in the style of old-school architecture that used to be at that site," said Councilwoman Libby Cowan, who voted against moving City Hall and the Police Department there. "We'd love to find someone who will maintain it as it is."

But the building's owner, Los Angeles businessman Nickolas Shammas, appears to be driving a hard bargain. Dozens of businesses have expressed interest in the building, which Pacific Savings Bank occupied until it folded. The city's appraisers valued the building at much less than the $30 million Shammas once said it was worth, Deputy City Manager Donald Lamm said in February.

City officials still haven't released the appraisal, which cost $20,000 to conduct. Shammas could not be reached for comment.

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