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Gold Line Reaches $56 Million Land Deal with Monrovia

The Gold Line Construction Authority agreed to terms of a deal with the city Friday after a long, contentious negotiation process.

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.

Several Roadblocks

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.

Jonathan Lesueur July 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Jill I would believe they would have a bus that goes up that street oh wait the 270 goes up myrtle turns on Huntington drive to magnolia then makes an left on foothill and then a right on primrose ave they got that covered. when the time comes I believe they will probably think of a way to shuttle people to myrtle maybe bring the trolly back.
Daryl Hons July 28, 2011 at 05:12 AM
Erin, you make an interesting point. Los Angeles and its environs did not develop like the older East Coast cities or like Chicago for that matter. Those cities developed with mass transit and their respective population and business densities reflect that. Today, it is quite typical for cities that build new light rail lines to use existing railways. They do this for a couple of reasons. First, it is easier to acquire the land and the right-of-way. Second, the Federal government often insists that local governments provide a portion of the building costs for a project before it will provide funds. Sometimes, local authorities get creative and use the value of the railway land in place of actual dollars to satisfy this criteria. The use of existing railways is good and bad. First, the bad is that the rail lines often do not go in the most ideal routes, ideal meaning that they are restricted by the existing rail route. This is where the planned systems like New York, Boston, and Chicago are far superior. However, the upside is that light rail projects, and I include the Gold Line, do serve the community in a positive way. If I worked in downtown Los Angeles, there is no way, unless I needed a car for my job, I would commute by car. I don't need the grief of driving or the hassle and expense of parking. I took light rail to work for a year in another city and do not regret one minute of it. I read the newspaper on the way in and walked a few blocks to work.
Daryl Hons July 28, 2011 at 05:20 AM
One other point. Unless I'm mistaken, light rail, and probably most mass transit, are not money makers. Building a rail line and expecting it to turn a profit or break even is not realistic. However, we build roads and they don't generate profits. It's all infrastructure and part of why we pay taxes.
Bob Dollins August 03, 2011 at 05:22 PM
@Erin Thorn, "Snarky Jerk?" Well, like my debate coach in HS told me, when your opponent resorts to name calling, they know they've lost the debate. BTW if by the remote chance you are married, my condolences to him, or is it her?
Rick Haney September 05, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Im the owner of Raidex Termite and Pest Control at 140 West Pomona Ave. I was told that the city would help with my relocation to make room for the Gol Line expansion. Do any of you know if this is still the case and who would I contact?

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