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In 2016, San Diego leased a downtown high-rise, hoping to house its workers in the towering office space. It’s been a disaster ever since.
Renovating the space blew past cost expectations and eventually forced city workers to evacuate after construction inadvertently disturbed asbestos in the building. The city is now tied up in lawsuits over what officials knew about the state of the building and when they knew it, and the transaction itself is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
This post originally appeared in the May 17 Morning Report. Get the free daily newsletter here. City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office says former Chief Operating Officer Kris Michell has yet to formally respond to its May 11 letter accusing the ex-city bureaucrat of directing the city’s Information Technology Department to purge records tied to 101…
Former city real estate director Cybele Thompson testified under oath that city landlord Cisterra Development at least twice denied paying “volunteer” city real estate adviser Jason Hughes, a claim that Cisterra disputes.
City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office is demanding answers in a letter alleging former city Chief Operating Officer Kris Michell ordered the deletion of cell phone and computer records about 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza.
Documents reveal real estate broker Jason Hughes, who agreed to advise the city for free and later collected $9.4 million, wasn’t shy about telling city officials and the city’s would-be landlord that he wanted to be paid.
Former city real estate chief Cybele Thompson testified under oath former Mayor Kevin Faulconer spent more on the building to avoid political criticism and that she stands by her work on the city’s 101 Ash St. lease but the city ‘cut corners’ on renovation work on the high rise.
The city’s former volunteer real estate adviser claimed under oath that ex-Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave him the go-ahead to seek a seven-figure payment for his work on complex city leases – and said he didn’t consider himself the city’s real estate broker.
What we’ve learned about this scandal in 2021: how much people made off the 101 Ash lease and that the city and criminal investigators believe the deal may have been the result of illegal actions.
Former mayor Kevin Faulconer maintained under oath during a Wednesday deposition that he did not know that onetime ‘volunteer’ city real estate adviser Jason Hughes was paid millions for his work on two controversial city lease deals.
Investigators executed simultaneous search warrants at Hughes Marino and Cisterra Development as part of a criminal investigation into the deals both brokered for the city of San Diego to lease to own two downtown towers.
Emails show that in 2015, as San Diego was considering a lease-to-own agreement for a downtown building, the city’s future landlord talked privately about how to handle a city finance official’s questions — and concerns she might scrutinize “a $1 million buffer” in their numbers.
Two previously undisclosed agreements between the city’s ostensibly unpaid real estate adviser and a company that acted as its landlord on two major deals reveal not only that he had formal agreements with the company, but that he stood to lose money if the leases he negotiated didn’t go through.
Lenders behind the city’s Civic Center Plaza lease trying to evict the city argue that they can’t be punished for an alleged conflict of interest they didn’t know about.
The developer reported roughly $7.45 million in what it described as net proceeds in the 101 Ash St. deal and $6.4 million for the Civic Center Plaza deal after requests from Voice of San Diego to open its books.
It’s not immediately clear what the filing could mean for more than a dozen city departments and about 850 employees who work in the building.
This post originally appeared in the July 23 Morning Report. Get the Morning Report delivered to your inbox. A city audit released late Thursday found that real estate acquisitions on former Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s watch suffered from insufficient due diligence, less than full disclosure to the City Council and a lack of clarity on various responsibilities that led…
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