SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A proposed settlement could bring an end to the saga of a controversial real estate transaction in San Diego.
On Tuesday, San Diego City Council members were scheduled to meet in a closed-door session with lawyers representing plaintiff John Gordon regarding a possible settlement regarding the 101 Ash Street building.
In 2020, Gordon brought a corruption lawsuit against the city and officials to set aside the $200 million taxpayer-funded building lease-purchase agreement.
The City of San Diego approved a lease-to-own deal for the property in 2016, with the intent to move over 1,000 city employees into the building.
However, those plans were soon sidelined after it was discovered that the structure needed major renovations. In December 2019, after the city began to move workers in, the building needed to be vacated after traces of asbestos were found.
Since then, the building has sat unoccupied.
In the years since the city bought the building, several noteworthy actions have taken place:
- City Attorney Mara Elliott filed a lawsuit in June 2021 to void the agreement and recoup over $40 million in losses
- A city audit released in July 2021 highlighted the city’s administration mistakes in the agreement to buy the building
- Days after the city audit, an independent audit listed the 101 Ash Street transaction among the city’s bad property deals in the last five years
- A criminal probe was launched over the transaction in October 2021 by the county District Attorney's Office