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SAN DIEGO-The City Council in July will consider an exclusive negotiating agreement with Portland, OR-based Gerding Edlen Development to build a new civic center complex. The matter will go before the council after a recent vote by the Center City Development Corp. board of directors, which voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council move into an exclusive negotiating agreement with GED.

The exclusive negotiating agreement process typically specifies a date by which the two parties would be required to concur on the terms of the development agreement. An ENA does not approve any project; it merely specifies the terms by which the two parties will negotiate.

The GED proposal has been vetted by Jones Lang LaSalle and Ernst & Young over the last year and a half and has shown to save significant taxpayer dollars over the short and long term. Advocates of the ENA include the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Downtown San Diego Partnership, Building Owners and Managers Association, San Diego Downtown Residents Group, San Diego Theaters and Move San Diego.

A recent study by E&Y also concluded that a proposal to renovate the civic center is only practical over a very short term, given the condition of the buildings. Tom Cody, a GED representative, says the firm plans to identify the best solution for a new civic center complex and to “take advantage of opportunities that didn’t exist when we originally presented our proposal–such as construction cost savings and financing incentive programs.”

The San Diego Civic Centre occupies a six-acre site between A and C streets, Front Street and Third Avenue. The project was built in the 1960s.

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