State Releases Ownership Of Downtown Santa Monica Parking Structures

Monday, 23 Dec 2013, 9:26:00 AM

Staff Report

Parking Structure 4, located near Second Street and Arizona, is one of six downtown Santa Monica parking structures that have been released back to the City of Santa Monica.
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Parking Structure 4, located near Second Street and Arizona, is one of six downtown Santa Monica parking structures that have been released back to the City of Santa Monica.

50th District Assemblyman Richard Bloom (Dem-Santa

Monica) has announced that after many months of meetings and negotiations, the California Department of Finance has agreed to release

six downtown Santa Monica parking structures

to the city that were previously in limbo because of redevelopment

dissolution laws imposed by the state in 2011.

Bloom said he was pleased the Department of Finance had reversed course on this matter.

“With the Department of

Finance finally understanding and accepting that the city is the

rightful owner of these properties allows us to move

away from some of the frustration and chaos created by the dissolution

of redevelopment agencies,” Bloom said.

In 2011, facing a severe budget shortfall, the

Governor and Legislature dissolved redevelopment agencies and redirected

$1.7 billion away from various community economic development projects.

In response, communities were required to establish

a successor agency, governed by a local oversight board, that would

take over the projects from the now defunct redevelopment agencies.

However, for projects to qualify and be eligible

for bond funding, they had to meet certain requirements pursuant to the

new redevelopment dissolution laws and receive the permission from the

Department of Finance.  

In August,

the Department of Finance denied the City of Santa Monica’s declaration

regarding a number of properties, including the six parking structures

adjacent to and serving the Third Street Promenade. The parking structures

had been built without using redevelopment agency funds.

Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould said the City of Santa Monica was  pleased that the

Department of Finance (DOF) had recognized the six parking structures in

the downtown as under the rightful ownership of the City. 

"The DOF

staff was very receptive to the documents we

provided clearly showing the purpose for which they were built and how

they were financed, with no involvement of the now defunct Redevelopment

Agency,” Gould said. "The State's

decision removes a cloud over the structures

and is a welcome development at the close of the year. While there are

still hurdles to crest in the New Year and perhaps beyond, likely

involving the State Controller's Office, this resolution of ownership of

such key assets is a major step toward conclusion

of the dissolution of redevelopment in Santa Monica.”

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