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City May Swap Land for Library, City Hall

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The two highest priorities on the city’s wish list--a library and a city hall--could be built as part of a proposed land swap with the Mission Viejo Co.

City officials said they have talked with the Mission Viejo Co. about trading city-owned land to the company to get a library.

For several months, the officials have been discussing swapping a 23-acre parcel for a 3-acre site belonging to the company, City Hall sources said Monday.

The difference in value between the two parcels would be used to finance construction of a new library.

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The land deal was discussed in a closed-session meeting of the council Monday.

But city officials said the deal also could result in the construction of a civic center complex. The 3-acre site at La Paz Road and Marguerite Parkway sits next to a plot bought by the city two years ago that is earmarked for the proposed library.

Under the proposal, Mission Viejo Co. would build a city hall and lease the building to the city.

The 23-acre parcel at Los Altos, of which six acres can be built upon, originally was Mission Viejo Co. property. Transferred to the city three years ago in exchange for development concessions, the land was the intended site for a city hall that was turned down by voters in June, 1992.

The city has made several other land trades since incorporating in 1988.

Three years ago, the city bought an office complex on Chrisanta Drive for $3.1 million, also intending that it be a city hall.

The council eventually changed its mind about a two-story building and traded it to the Mission Viejo Co. 18 months ago for an existing four-building recreation center complex.

The city currently rents space in an office building on La Alameda for $388,000 per year.

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