Malibu Municipal Officials Look
Toward Auction for New City Hall
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
Later this week, Malibu city officials may find out if they have acquired a new City Hall if their $15 million bid is accepted for the building that houses the Malibu Performing Arts Center. An auction is scheduled for June 19.
The city council has scheduled a closed session on that same day at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the possible terms of payment and other details of acquiring the 35,000 square foot property from the former owners, the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Malibu.
The attempt to acquire the building has proceeded behind closed doors as allowed by law because lawmakers are able to discuss real estate negotiations, personnel matters and litigation in closed sessions.
The matter has been discussed repeatedly by the city council over the past several months in closed sessions but there has been no public discussion about the matter.
City officials themselves have been tight-lipped about the proceedings. When asked to comment on the current state of affairs, the Assistant City Manager /Administrative Services Director Reva Feldman said, “The city submitted a bid for $15 million.”
There has been much fanfare about the center because so many A-lister rock and pop artists have played the 500-seat theater in a building that includes banquet facilities, a recording studio, dance studios, film and television production facilities and office space.
The city for years has designated a fund reserve for acquiring a city hall. There is currently $1.7 million in that fund. The municipality currently leases 17,000 square feet for $800,000 per year, according to Feldman.
Even some city hall critics have looked favorably on the potential deal, saying that the matter would be financially sound even for the cash strapped city since the high rent payments could go for debt service and that the city already has money stashed away.
Some local environmentalists are delighted with the idea that the city would take over an existing building instead of adding more development to the Civic Center area.
One group lamenting the sale is comprised of church members. Church officials still talk about whether there would still be a place for them in the building, but in a pastoral letter on the church’s blog, it was acknowledged that the city’s plans for the building would not include a home for the church.
“Could the building still be purchased and used for Kingdom purposes? Yes. This would require some Christian investor or consortium of investors. If you believe this is God’s highest intention for our property, join us in praying for His purposes in Malibu.”