Sale of O.C. Fairgrounds can go ahead, judge rules
The on-again, off-again -- rinse and repeat -- sale of the state-owned Orange County Fairgrounds was back on Wednesday after Orange County Superior Court Judge Michael Brenner ruled in the state's favor in a lawsuit filed by opponents of the plan.
But the check from Facilities Management West won't be in the mail quite yet. Brenner extended until Tuesday his temporary restraining order holding up the sale so opponents -- a coalition of businesses, community members, and local and state officials that filed suit to stop the sale -- can appeal.
If the appellate court accepts the case, Brenner's temporary restraining order would remain in effect until the higher court made a ruling.
The state put the fairgrounds up for sale earlier this year as a way to try to cut its budget deficit, but the process has been fraught by setbacks, infighting and lawsuits. Facilities Management West finally emerged as the winning buyer, agreeing to purchase the 150-acre site in Costa Mesa for $100 million. The company would pay the state $20 million upfront and the $80 million balance, with interest, over 35 years.
Mona Shadia has more details of Wednesday's ruling at the Daily Pilot.
-- Jill-Marie Jones