Seaside City Council (Dec. 12, 2018) copy 2

Seaside City Council

Seaside Resort, the real estate project first envisioned in the late 1990s with the closing of Fort Ord, has been officially revived once more. On June 11, Seaside City Council approved a new development agreement, paving the way for a land sale that will net local government entities about $14 million.

Residential and timeshare units and a hotel with at least 200 rooms will be erected on a 70-acre lot located adjacent to the Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses, according to the agreement between the city and a team of Arizona-based developers, who are organized under a new corporate entity called Cypress Seaside, LLC.

Seaside City Manager Craig Malin says negotiations led to a more viable project and improved the city’s position.

“The land sale moves the project closer to fruition than it has been for years,” he writes via email. “Having the property sold both supplies $14 million to regional public entities and stops the de facto public land-banking that has been occurring.”

Hotel occupancy tax from the resort is expected to bring Seaside at least $1.5 million a year in revenue. Malin notes that the new deal eliminates a previous concession that would have seen the city share the tax revenue with the developers.

The deal was also fortified with a repurchase clause for the hotel site (but not the entire lot.) The developers are buying the site for $5.5 million and if they don’t move forward on schedule, the city would have the option of buying it back for $800,000.

Now, the stakeholders can proceed with the hope that another recession won’t come around and derail the project repeating what happened a decade ago.

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Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers higher education, the military, the environment, public lands and the geographic areas of Seaside, Monterey, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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(1) comment

Steven Gordo

I have not followed such things, so forgive me if this has been addressed, but the following questions come to mind: 1. What streets and infrastructure will be impacted? How much will the needed improvements to infrastructure cost the local communities? $14 million sounds cheap when considered the traffic choke points that surround Blackhorse-Bayonet. Widening those roads, waste drainage improvements, increased policing, for a few examples, could eat up $14 million in the blink of an eye. 2. Was a lease considered? It seems short-sighted selling such public land that is, in general, some of the most appreciable real estate in California, if not the world. 3. Do any of the decision-makers personally benefit? Part of our due diligence is to "follow the money." Here's my take and gripe, because of Prop 13, many cities and counties, here in California, have bee forced to "grow or die." Indeed, cities, often, only get needed increases in revenue when new developments are sold or existing real estate gets turned over, so most city councils and county boards of supervisors get twitterpated with prospects of new growth and/or turnovers of real estate ownerships. This can mean that slowed growth and better judgement is scoffed at or shouted down amidst a frenzy of hand-wringing by public officials and cheerleading by private interests. So, here in California, when I hear of "great, new land developments," my first reaction is to suspect short-term gain and long-term loss. I shall keep a jaundice eye about such "great news."[batman]

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