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Costa Mesa reaches agreement to buy O.C. Fairgrounds from the state

The city of Costa Mesa has reached an agreement to buy the Orange County Fairgrounds from the state for $96 million and lease it to a private operator that would continue to stage the annual county fair.

The tentative deal for the 150-acre piece of prime property was reached Wednesday after months of negotiations between Costa Mesa officials and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office.

After several hours of debate, the Costa Mesa City Council approved agreements with the state and Facilities Management West Inc., a Newport Beach-based investment firm, just after 12 a.m.

The sale still requires approval from the state Legislature to move forward, and it may face hurdles from legislators who have criticized an ordinance Costa Mesa approved last month declaring itself a “Rule of Law" when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration.

State Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) said in a statement that he still had to be “convinced it’s a good deal for Orange County residents. Also, I know many of my legislative colleagues have great concerns about Costa Mesa’s recent anti-immigrant ordinance, so that will definitely be a factor and the city will need to address it.”

The state put the fairgrounds up for auction to try to cut the budget deficit, but the high bid -- $56.5 million from an outlet mall developer -- came in far short of the state's expected $96-million to $180-million price tag and was rejected.

-- Tony Barboza in Costa Mesa

Comments () | Archives (7)

it willbe a shame if the left blows this deal-a billion dollars to the state--grandstanding over Costa Mesa saying that it will follow federal immigration law. When did it become OK for legislators to punish individuals/municipalities/states for following the law? what fools.

It will never be the same as it was.

No matter, I haven't been there in 10 years, Ohio is just too far for a fair.

Here's a solution: the left-wing legislators can permit the sale, then "boycott" all the events at the fairgrounds!

Hooray! Long live the OC Fairgrounds and the OC Fair! Well done!

If they boycott the faire it will be more fun for the rest of us.

I want to see legislation that allows any elected official to block the purchase of property by a municipality based on what a "Rule of Law." Sounds a lot like extortion to me!

"it willbe a shame if the left blows this deal-a billion dollars to the state" Posted by: Earnie

A billion dollars? $100 million is not $1 billion.

Typical uneducated Republicans.

The less you know, the more you believe...


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