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Public input sought for special meeting June 16 regarding potential purchase of Village Center property

mission viejo city seal

The Mission Viejo City Council is inviting residents to provide input during a special meeting on Thursday, June 16 regarding the potential purchase of Village Center property where the CVS store is located on Marguerite Parkway.  

The seller put the Core Area property up for sale to the public and invited the City to make an offer to purchase the property upon which CVS operates. The CVS store is under lease for several more years and would remain a tenant.  

During a City Council meeting in March, Assistant City Manager Keith Rattay spoke about engaging potential concepts of the Core Area Vision Plan including site studies and analysis, and Council Members offered their thoughts for developing this vibrant opportunity in the heart of Mission Viejo.

On Thursday, the Council will consider the item after receiving public input and staff testimony.  

The meeting begins at 6 pm in the Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center. It will also be streamed live on the City's website and air on Cox Channel 30 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.

Comments

Submitted by megan cable on Wed, 06/15/2022 - 5:02 pm

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I get why the city would want this property for the Core Area plan, but at what cost? The last time the city bought one of those buildings they also did away with the child care subsidy for school children through kids factory. Without that subsidy the cost of childcare rose $560... Over twice the cost. I would not want the city to obtain this building if we have to give up something like that. I would love to see all the details.

Submitted by Cathy Schlicht on Wed, 06/15/2022 - 6:05 pm

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Where in the Vision Plan that the Public has been relying upon does it say that the public will be put on the hook for buying private property?

This will be another significant amount of property taxes taken out of the revenue stream not only for the City but all the other government agencies.

The public remains uninformed on the progress of the Stein Mart plans. The pending $60 million debt for a $12 million purchase was done without any report or study on the expected rate of return on investment.

The council has not responded to my questions on providing the 3000 sq ft warm shell building to the Kinstler Trust. What has happened to that progress and where will that building be located?

And in the name of transparency - what happened in Court on Wednesday regarding the election lawsuits?

Submitted by Scott Leighton on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 12:27 pm

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I strongly oppose the City spending taxpayer money to buy private property for the Vision Plan. I suggest the council find other ways to incentivize private business to invest in any necessary renovations.

Submitted by Anthony Elia on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 2:01 pm

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Cities should promote private developer interests by cutting fees and unnecessary regulations and creating a flexible master plan with investor input.

City involvement in the CVS "Core Area" proposed purchase would be another disaster like the Kaleidoscope.

Bored City leaders are imagining themselves as developers at taxpayer expense.

The Stein Mart project is already an unwanted bond-indebtedness with our great library and Murray Senior Center put up as collateral without the voters' consent.

The "Stein Mart bond" is to be paid with revenues taken away from civic-pride oriented programs such as child care and landscaping support.

Legacy programs should benefit the community not the egos of city employees.

Submitted by Kathy Dittner on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 2:36 pm

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You already took out two 20 million bonds to pay for this project. Why can’t that go for the purchase of the building? With the taxpayers paying the added interest on those loans, the taxpayers should not be asked to pay for this project.

Submitted by Adriana Lanca Brady on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 3:12 pm

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What's the end game on this very expensive purchase? Also: why can't the City encourage improvements/updates by the current owners by providing tax breaks? Isn't that a better application of our tax dollars?

Submitted by Tammy Carlson on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 3:43 pm

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The city should not be in the private landlord business. Encourage responsible development that matches the vision plan with any new owners. The current pop up display and accompanying security guard seems like a huge waste of money.

Submitted by George Upegui on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 3:48 pm

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I am of the opinion that the City needs to focus on the quality of life for all residents within it's boundaries. The focal point should be one existing infrastructure maintenance and revitalization of said current assets such as streets, signals, bridges, parks, city buildings, solar upgraded, backup generation, drainage and right of way landscape to name a few examples. The City's vision to purchase such a property in a market not conducive with what would be considered a win for the City and it's residents but may become an anchor so to speak. I would encourage City elected officials to seek out ventures that not only improve the quality of life for it's residents but in a case such as this can effectively contribute to a revenue stream that is guaranteed and not such a gamble or open ended proposition.
The City will eventually need to replace maintenance and or public works vehicles with electric vehicles by 2030 and also have adequate charging facilities to accommodate their fleet inclusive of street sweepers and other public works transportation vehicles. We must be forward thinkers in a rapidly changing world and we need leaders who are planners and not politically motivated by a real estate transaction that can be an anchor and impact the budget and reserve requirements in future years. I urge the City leaders to be transparent in every way possible to ensure the community stakeholders that this is a worthy investment and not a money pit. I am all for downtown revitalization projects if grant funding is available and the general fund is not impacted. Where all the payments for such a venture be taken from? General fund? Will there be an impact on the State required reserve amounts? What will the revenue stream if any be once the project has been completed? What is the ROI?
During these tumultuous times going into debt to purchase property close to City Hall and the Civic Center may be advantageous but what are the risks and costs? Will there be budget cuts in other areas or departments that are negatively impacted by such a move? What services will be impacted and no longer available to the public to acquire land that cannot be fully developed based on current leaseholder contractual agreements. I know I speak around many issues and concerns and believe that the City should represent and listen to it's constituents regarding this risky and costly venture. We are in very unstable times and sometimes holding the hand you have while not pulling another card may be the wise thing to do. I personally am not in favor of this transaction as I believe the City can (1) focus on real issues and needs within City boundaries while looking at everchanging economic factors (2) rebuild and improve existing infrastructure as noted above (3) invest in solar energy, charging stations and electric vehicles- lead by example (4) focus on grants for public infrastructure, transportation and community programs.

Thank you
George Upegui
Retired
City Public Works Superintendent

Submitted by michael schlesinger on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 4:25 pm

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The city has no business being a commercial landlord of a retail enterprise, especially when we are in a recession. The CVS store is located in a non-performing mall; thus, consumer traffic is down.

Submitted by Priscilla Beissel on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 4:54 pm

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What advantages are there for the residents/homeowners of Mission Viejo to be so far in debt for property that the City Council's need to be large land
owners will satisfy a desire to own property? Please advise as to the City Council's priority to improve the quality, value, care and services to the residents and homeowners in the city of Mission Viejo? Where does that
moral value fit into your plans for the reputation of Mission Viejo which was built by the generations before you who settled here because of the city's reputation as one of the finest Planned Communities in the State of California and a model for our United States of America?

Submitted by Eileen Oldroyd on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 6:22 pm

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The commercial and residential real estate market has changed a great deal over the past two years. Some businesses have closed, yet others opened proving that there is loss and opportunity in disuption. I would like to think that long term planning of Mission Viejo's would capitalize on this windfall.

Mission Viejo had a huge success with the Oso Creek Golf Course. Our citizens should have faith that our public officials will take great consideration with the funds required to purchase and invest in our future. I think this purchase should be explored.

It would revitalize a tired area of the city and make it more of a hub, create jobs, build community and have a broader vision for the future.

I'm in favor of moving forward with this opportunity.

I wish you the best of luck!

Eileen Oldroyd

Submitted by Kevin Messenger on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 6:33 pm

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If the city is gonna use it for low income mixed use housing I’m all for it. At the same time, that cvs is a great one and it would be nice to at least keep that store. The younger generation desperately needs all kinds of low income housing for this city thanks!

Submitted by Billy Chase on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 6:55 pm

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This is not the time to incur more debt for our city. We are at the start of a recession. The city should be planning on what to do when tax income falls. When income goes down & interest rates go up that is not the time to take on more debt.

Submitted by Billy Chase on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 7:03 pm

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We are heading into a recession with lower income and increased interest rates. Not the time to take on unneeded debt. I don't understand why the city wants to purchase property in a failing mall?

Submitted by Jeremy Stonebarger on Thu, 06/16/2022 - 7:44 pm

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That center is an eyesore. MV Families want a place to go out, have fun, and spend money within the city. I have lived here my whole life, and I plan to never move. It is time for the city to gain control of this property and modernize it for everyone to enjoy. I would guess that the people who don't want this development, don't want any change at all and would be ok with the city's esthetics being stuck in the 60's/70's.

Submitted by Larry Gilbert on Fri, 06/17/2022 - 10:10 am

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It amazes me that we have so many residents who refuse to recognize and respect private property rights. Accept for the Steinmart property The City does not own the other dozen parcels in the Village center. If the dozen owners are not on board we cannot force them to cave in on the Core Vision Plan.

Submitted by Richard W Lee on Fri, 06/17/2022 - 10:55 am

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My recommendation would be to offer the property to shopping center managers, with design and demographic expertise. Maybe get their attention with a name change like 'City Center Plaza.'

Submitted by Tina Mowrer on Fri, 06/17/2022 - 11:16 am

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I do not think the city should be buying up private property. I agree with the other comments about encouraging the owners to upgrade. We live close by and shop at the CVS, Big Lots, and I even get my hair cut there. We do not need high density housing at that intersection. The traffic is already bad coming down La Paz with Marco Forester, the middle school, high school and a couple of elementary schools that are off La Paz. It is nice to high stores that people need and not put in "high end" shops that we could not afford.

Submitted by City Staff on Fri, 06/17/2022 - 11:26 am

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Thank you for your comments on the City’s News page. The Mission Viejo City Council on Thursday decided not to move forward with investigating a potential purchase of Village Center property where the CVS store is located on Marguerite Parkway. The Council held the special public meeting Thursday to consider potentially directing staff to move forward with researching the feasibility of placing an offer – step one of a multi-step process. After residents offered their views, the Council voted not to proceed with that research process, and the City will not pursue the idea any further. You may view the meeting through the following link:

https://missionviejo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=22…

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