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The State of California's Proposed Sale of
The OC Fair & Event Center
Updated 9/27/10

In May 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a multi-faceted proposal to State politicians in an effort to balance California's more than $26 billion budget deficit. In this proposal, the sale of surplus or underutilized assets was considered. The OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC, 32nd DAA) was included as an underutilized asset.

In October 2009, the State's Department of General Services (DGS) released a Request For Proposals (RFP) regarding the potential sale of the Orange County fairgrounds (OC Fair & Event Center).

In January 2010, the DGS accepted seven bids submitted for the RFP. The company with the highest offer, Craig Realty Group with $56.5 million, was selected as the winning bid for the RFP and the State proceeded in the RFP process reviewing Craig Realty Group's bid details. In March 2010, the DGS rejected Craig Realty Group's and the other six bids because the bid were determined to be too low.

In April 2010, it was announced that the City of Costa Mesa was in exclusive negotiations with the State to purchase the OC Fair & Event Center. In May 2010, the City submitted a proposal to the State which included an agreement where the City owned the title to the property and a private company, Facilities Management West, would operate and manage it. In June, the Governor's office announced approval of the City's proposal and planned to proceed in taking any necessary legislative and procedural requirements.

In August 2010, the State released a second Request for Proposals (RFP) in the event the current proposal by the City of Costa Mesa is not successful.

In September 2010, the Board sent the Govenor's office an explanatory letter and historical information that put in question the rightful ownership of the property.

Below is a variety of information about the proposed sale:

Key Documents
  Second Request for Proposal
    Request for Proposal (RFP) as released by the Department of General Services
   
  First Request for Proposal
    Request for Proposal (RFP) as released by the Department of General Services
    Customer Survey Regarding Proposed Sale - Results
     
    Bids received by the Department of General Services (Released by DGS 1/14/2010)
    Results Announced for the Orange County Fairgrounds Public Auction (DGS Press Release 1/14/2010)
   
  Additional Documents of Interest
  Governor Schwarzenegger's California Performance Review regarding district agricultural associations
  Letter from Assemblyman Jose Solorio to the Department of General Services
  Department of General Services Response to Assemblyman Jose Solorio
  32nd DAA Letter to the Governor Regarding Property Ownership
News Coverage
  Fair board to Schwarzenegger: Property's ours
Orange County Register (September 17, 2010)
  City OKs fairgrounds deal
Orange County Register (August 24, 2010)
  State puts fairgrounds up for sale -- again
Daily Pilot (August 24, 2010)
  Fairgrounds lease made public
Daily Pilot (August 20, 2010)
  Governor OKs OC Fairgrounds deal
Orange County Register (June 23, 2010)
  Meet the mystery owners of OC Fairgrounds
Orange County Register (May 26, 2010)
  Council moves on to Facilities Management West
Daily Pilot (May 19, 2010)
  City in talks with groups about operating fairgrounds
Daily Pilot (May 5, 2010)
  Costa Mesa offers $96 million for fairgrounds
Orange County Register (April 21, 2010)
  Costa Mesa outlines proposal to buy fairgrounds
Orange County Register (April 15, 2010)
  Costa Mesa negotiating with state to buy fairgrounds
Orange County Register (April 1, 2010)
  State rejects all seven bids for O.C. Fairgrounds
Los Angeles Times (March 17, 2010)
  Fairgrounds designation in hands of voters
Orange County Register (February 16, 2010)
  Private real estate firm wins bid for O.C. Fairgrounds for $56.5 million [Updated]
Los Angeles Times (January 14, 2010)
  7 bid for OC Fairgrounds
Orange County Register (January 11, 2010)
  Editorial: Taking steps for fairgrounds
Daily Pilot (January 10, 2010)
  Costa Mesa, county join to bid for fairgrounds
Orange County Register (December 16, 2009)
  Politics: Costa Mesa votes for joint bid on fairgrounds
Daily Pilot (December 16, 2009)
  Costa Mesa and county to jointly bid for fairgrounds
Orange County Register (December 14, 2009)
  Fair foundation to continue, despite major setbacks
Orange County Register (December 10, 2009)
  Key members leave O.C. Fair foundation
Orange County Register (December 8, 2009)
  State Assemblyman Solorio introduces bill calling for rescinding proposed sale of OC Fairgrounds
Daily Pilot (December 2, 2009)
  O.C. supervisors, in reversal, ask governor to cancel fairgrounds sale
Los Angeles Times (November 24, 2009)
  Costa Mesa: scrap the sale of the OC Fairgrounds
Orange County Register (November 17, 2009)
  City looking into buying O.C. fairgrounds
Daily Pilot (October 29, 2009)
  Community Commentary: Help county retain a treasured part of its history
Daily Pilot (October 17, 2009)
  Orange County Fairgrounds put on auction block
Los Angeles Times (October 9, 2009)
  Board mulls option to buy fairgrounds
Daily Pilot (July 28, 2009)
 

O.C. Fair Board OKs resolution to sell fairgrounds property
Los Angeles Times (July 15, 2009)

  Board signals support for selling O.C. fairgrounds
Orange County Register (July 15, 2009)
  Proposed sale of Southern California fairgrounds presents challenges
Los Angeles Times (May 26, 2009)
 

Proposed sale of O.C. Fairgrounds an ‘extraordinary’ measure
Orange County Register Sacramento Correspondent (May 13, 2009)

Key Dates for the Second RFP (as set by the DGS*)
  September 30, 2010 Bids due to the DGS
  October 19, 2010 Final Selection and Notice to Bidders** (Revised by DGS 10/3/10.)
  October 21, 2010 Buyer's Execution of Purchase Contract
  October 21, 2010 Notice to Legislature
  November 22, 2010 Department Execution of Purchase Contract (subject to legislative notice)
  November 22, 2010 Escrow Opened, Buyer’s Deposit Increased
  December 2010 Estimated Close of Escrow
  *The Department reserves the right to modify the above projected dates at its sole discretion prior to and after the Final Bid Submission Date.
**Same relative dates will apply from this point forward on subsequently ranked bid proposals should a transaction fail to consummate with the initially selected bidder.
 
Key Dates for the First RFP (as set by the DGS*)
  January 8, 2010* Bids due to the DGS (Extended to January 11 for State furlough - 1/7/2010)
  January 14, 2010 Opening of Bids and Auction (Recording of highest bidder**.)
  January 21, 2010 Buyer's Execution of Purchase Contract
  January-February 2010 State Review & Recommendation
  March 15, 2010 State Execution of Purchase Contract (subject to legislative notice)
  March 16, 2010 Escrow Opened, Buyer’s Deposit Increased
  May – September 2010 Estimated Close of Escrow
  October 1, 2010 Buyer Control of Property***
  * The State reserves the right to modify the above projected dates at its sole discretion prior to and after the Final Bid Submission Date.
** Same relative dates will apply from this point forward on subsequently ranked bid proposals should a transaction fail to consummate with the initially selected bidder.
*** The sale of the Property is conditioned upon the Property’s continued operation as the Orange County Fair and Event Center through the 2010 County Fair (slated to end mid-August).

Helpful Links
  Office of the Governor Email the Governor
  California Department of General Services DGS - Asset Management
  California Department of Finance
  City of Costa Mesa County of Orange

Frequently Asked Questions
 

Who owns the OC Fair & Event Center?
The 32nd District Agricultural Association, doing business as the OC Fair & Event Center, is a state entity within the Division of Fairs and Expositions, California Department of Food and Agriculture.

 

Who can I contact for more information about the RFP?
Please contact one of the following Department of General Services contacts:

  • General Inquiries: Dave Kalemba, (916) 376-1826
  • Media: DGSPublicAffairs@dgs.ca.gov, (916) 376-5037, (916) 710-3861 (after hours, Eric Lamoureux)

 

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