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SD Mayor Sanders Unveils Scaled-Down City Hall Proposal

Above: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders stands with city officials as he unveils new plans for a smaller, less expensive city hall project than one first proposed, June 24, 2010 at City Hall.

Audio

Aired 6/29/10

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced plans Thursday for a downsized San Diego City Hall that’s about half the size of the original proposal.

— San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced plans Thursday for a downsized San Diego City Hall that’s about half the size of the original proposal.

Developer Gerding Edlen's proposal calls for a 19-story, 576,000-square-foot building next to the current City Hall, where Golden Hall currently stands. It would include a 400-seat council chamber on the second floor and a 1.25-acre public plaza. The cost of the project would be capped at $293.5 million.

The project is considerably smaller than Gerding Edlen's previous proposal, which called for a 34-story building, with nearly 1 million square feet, at a cost of about $440 million.

Mayor Sanders said the current building is a money pit that would require $24 million in repairs. "We simply need to stop wasting money on expensive fixes for a building that’s on its last leg."

The building, which was built in 1964, is deteriorating, has inadequate fire suppressions systems, lacks necessary seismic retrofitting and is laden with asbestos.

Sanders said the money could instead be spent on essential city services.

"And those services are police officers and firefighters – they don’t work in city hall," Sanders said. "We’re planning on restoring services to our libraries and our park and recreations – they don’t work in city hall. We have trimmed bureaucracy a lot, we don’t intend on bumping up bureaucracy."

Sanders said the new proposal is smaller because of the economic decline, and the city workforce has been reduced by about 1400 positions in recent years.

Sanders is scheduled to present the proposal to the City Council's Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations Committee on Wednesday.

Sanders said he hopes to put this new plan before voters in the November election. If approved construction would begin in 2012.

City News Service contributed to the information in this report.

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