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NEWPORT BEACH : Voters Will Decide on Lease Extension

Voters next week will decide whether Newport Beach should extend the lease on property at Pacific Coast Highway and Newport Boulevard to encourage private redevelopment of the site.

Measure R on the Nov. 7 ballot would authorize the city to extend the lease of the property, which now expires in 2008, for 10 years. An extension would provide incentive for a real estate firm to improve the property, according to Barry Permenter, who manages real estate for the county.

“People can expect a full redevelopment of a property that’s been an eyesore for a number of years, and it won’t cost them anything in terms of tax dollars,” Permenter said.

The land and a five-story building on it are owned by Newport Beach and the county. Haseko-LSW, a Los Angeles-based firm, now leases the building.

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Within a few years, the renovation could increase the minimum rent charged from $200,000 to about $350,000, he said. Plus, when the lease expires, all improvements to the land revert to the city and county, he added.

Even if Measure R passes, the lease extension is not automatic, Permenter said. The county will renegotiate the lease with input from Newport Beach.


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