MISSION VIEJO : City Hall Moving to Rented Space on Pala

The city will get a new City Hall Monday, but it definitely won't resemble the Taj Mahal.

Although plans for a new civic center complex have been shelved for the near future, city officials will move into new, rented quarters after six years at the old La Alameda location. The city tried to build a City Hall in 1992, but the proposed building was criticized as being an opulent "Taj Mahal" and voters subsequently defeated a bond measure to fund construction of the facility by an overwhelming margin.

Over the weekend, movers will pile desks, computers and other office equipment from the only headquarters that Mission Viejo has known and move City Hall to a new home at 25909 Pala, Suite 150, near Alicia Parkway and Jeronimo Road.

When negotiations to extend the La Alameda lease failed, City Manager Fred Sorsabal struck a deal with owners of the Pala street building at a substantially lower rent.

Mission Viejo will pay $1.25 per square foot at its new location, rather than the $1.70 per square foot charged at the La Alameda location.

About 26,000 square feet will be rented on a five-year lease, which contains an escape clause after two years in case the city decides to build its own City Hall.

City officials are nearing completion of a land swap with an Irvine-based developer that would trade eight acres of land at Los Altos street for a two-acre parcel at Marguerite Parkway and La Paz Road.

As part of the land swap deal, the Staubach Co. would build a city library next to the two-acre site, which city officials say would someday become home of a new City Hall.

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