Thursday, May 31, 2018

Yorba Linda's city-incurred Town Center costs total some $40 million, up a bit from estimates

City-incurred costs for the 11.2-acre Yorba Linda Town Center project – expected to be mostly completed next year – will total a bit more than $40 million, according to a report reviewed by City Council members earlier this month.

That's a 7.4 percent increase from the project's initial estimated expenditures in May 2016 and a 2.9 percent increase from a February 2017 revised estimate, as noted in the report prepared by Rick Yee, assistant city engineer.

The just-completed four-story, 430-space parking structure accounts for a large portion of the higher cost, with the original near-$8.9 million contract jumping to some $10.9 million, which includes construction and such costs as design, inspection, testing, bonds, insurance and management.

From the start of construction, 10 change orders were approved for the structure. The largest involved shoring to protect the fire station at nearly $540,000. Other increases included several upgrades and paying “prevailing wages” for concrete hauling due to a new state law.

One interesting aspect of the Town Center budget involves the $17.6 million the city paid to acquire property for the project, starting with the first purchase in 1989. Most buys were made through the city's now-defunct Redevelopment Agency, which existed from 1983 to 2012.

A 2016 city budget report noted: “While the sale price of these parcels totals approximately $3.6 million, the city will only receive approximately $288,000.” The properties were sold to the council-selected developer, Zelman Retail Partners.

Under the terms of the dissolution of the former Redevelopment Agency imposed by the state, the Successor Agency's proceeds of the property sale will be distributed to all taxing agencies receiving property tax in Yorba Linda, and the city's share of those proceeds amounts to approximately 8 percent,” the 2016 report stated.

Council members comprise redevelopment's Successor Agency, and other jurisdictions receiving 92 percent of the property sale proceeds include the county, various county and regional agencies and local school and community college districts.

Money to pay the city's project costs include funds from 2005 and 2011 Redevelopment Agency bond sales; parking fees to be paid by the developer and tenants; restricted drainage, transportation and air quality funds; the city's general fund; an internal city loan; and past and future property sales.

Some project funding is not yet available, including some proceeds from the Redevelopment Agency's 2011 bond sale, expected by July; parking fees, expected next year; and cash to be repaid by the Successor Agency for outstanding loans to the former Redevelopment Agency, expected gradually through 2022.

Among Town Center's amenities: a landscaped park, a 10-screen theater, a Bristol Farms market and several retail stores and eating establishments. A few retail and dining spaces are still available to lease.