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La Cañada officials agree to buy former Sport Chalet headquarters

La Cañada officials agree to buy former Sport Chalet headquarters
The city of La Cañada Flintridge is "moving forward with the acquisition" of the former Sport Chalet headquarters — the future site of a new City Hall, Mayor Jon Curtis said. The purchase price is $11.23 million, according to Curtis. (File photo)

La Cañada Mayor Jon Curtis confirmed Wednesday evening the city has hammered out a deal to purchase the former Sport Chalet headquarters for $11.23 million — approximately $460,000 less than originally anticipated — to house city offices.

"We're moving forward with the acquisition. So there's going to be a new City Hall," Curtis said.

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The original purchase agreement, approved in a special meeting of the La Cañada City Council Oct. 11, was for $11.7 million, which included an upfront payment of $5.65 million and an interest-free promissory note for $6.05 million, to be paid off in two years.

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At the October meeting, the City Council also approved a $75,000 contract for a consultant to help complete the review process.

City officials then embarked on a 90-day due diligence period, during which they inspected structural and mechanical aspects of the site and considered its overall design and feasibility for municipal use. Curtis said that period was extended by one week at the city's request.

Built in 2002, the 27,881-square-foot office building was originally designed for use by a single tenant. City Manager Mark Alexander has indicated the new City Hall would likely use about half of the total area. Options for what officials might do with the remaining space, and an adjacent 3,038-square foot Montessori school being leased until 2024, are still being considered.

Curtis said city officials met Wednesday afternoon with representatives of La Cañada Properties, Inc., still owned by family members of late Sport Chalet founder Norbert Olberz, to discuss amending the agreement based on information discovered during due diligence.

The mayor would not specify exactly what was discovered during that process, but confirmed there were things that needed to be addressed.

"We'll close in 30 days," Curtis said. "Then we'll start doing all the planning."

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Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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