The Gold Line Construction Authority has agreed to terms with the city of Monrovia to purchase land for a maintenance yard crucial to keeping the Gold Line Foothill Extension on track.
Under the negotiated arrangement, the authority will pay about $56 million in total compensation to purchase land on Evergreen Avenue from the city needed for a maintenance facility that will service railcars along the line, GLCA CEO Habib Balian said in an interview with Patch.
"It's done," Balian said. "We had been nibbling around the edges of any differences between us and we were able to iron out what we wanted."
The deal must still be approved by the GLCA board and Monrovia City Council, City Manager Scott Ochoa said.
Because of , Ochoa was reluctant to comment on the deal until it is finalized, which could happen in September, he said.
"We have met and negotiated in good faith and I’m curious to see how their board receives the proposed purchase and sale agreement," Ochoa said.
The deal for 14 acres of land hit several roadblocks in the last few months as during negotiations. City officials said in June that the GLCA reneged from terms that had been agreed upon, while the GLCA threatened to take Monrovia's land via eminent domain if a deal could not be reached.
The main sticking point was a , a property owner who stands to have his land condemned by the Gold Line as it makes room for the maintenance facility. The city steadfastly refused to agree to join the GLCA in a settlement with Brokate, insisting that the lawsuit was without merit.
Friday's deal includes an "out clause" for the GLCA should a court side with Brokate and disallow the land transaction, said Mitch Purcell, the GLCA's chief contracting officer.
"If a court prohibits the transaction … then the purchase and sale agreement goes away," Purcell said.
The city will also absorb up to $200,000 in GLCA attorneys fees associated with the lawsuit if a judge prohibits the deal, Purcell said.
Completion in 2015
Balian said the deal would allow the Foothill Extension to stay on schedule and meet an anticipated completion date in 2015. The GLCA cannot obtain the necessary Measure R funds to proceed with the Foothill Extension without securing Monrovia's land, Balian said.
"It turns on the final funding so we can go ahead and execute that contract," he said. "Getting this done is key to our schedule."
At the GLCA's next board meeting, it will award a construction contract for the Foothill Extension to one of three bidders, according to an email written by Bailian.
"Staff and our multiple evaluation committees--whose hard work I must acknowledge--have completed our work, and I will recommend to the board that the Foothill Transit Constructors–A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture win this important contract," Balian wrote.
Still complicating matters is the fate of the city's redevelopment agency, which The ordinance, which was approved at a first reading by the council on Tuesday, authorizes the city to pay the state $1.1 million to keep its redevelopment agency intact.
The Gold Line deal cannot be finalized by the city until the continuation ordinance takes effect, which won't happen until August at the earliest, Ochoa said. Until that happens, and as long as litigation continues against the city and GLCA, Ochoa said the city will not assume that a final deal for the maintenance yard is inevitable.
"The state budget and the (redevelopment elimination bills) have obviously added a layer of complexity to this whole discussion," he said.