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City council members in San Jose, Calif., will review a report on the expected cost of a new city hall this month. The cost has reportedly risen from $214 million to $260 in the past two years.

The 500,000-sf building planned for East Santa Clara Street will bring together staff members now scattered in different buildings. The City Hall on Mission Street can house only one-third of its employees.

Cost is key for this project. Under Measure I, passed in 1996, a rebuilt City Hall cannot cost more than the city would save from eliminating the separate spaces it now leases.

The Mayor’s office has said the project’s rising costs are in line with skyrocketing office-leasing costs in the area. The new City Hall would include a 21-story tower and one-story lobby and rotunda. It is expected to be complete in 2004.

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