Orange County, CA officials OK $178M civic center construction bond
The Orange County (CA) Board of Supervisors has approved a $178 million bond sale to pay for construction of a new six-story building that is part of an overhaul to the Santa Ana Civic Center, according to The Orange County Register.
This is one of the biggest debt obligations the county has entered into since its bankruptcy filing in 1994. Total repayment over 30 years will cost Orange County taxpayers $315 million. The $178 million is $28 million more than previous estimates.
- The new building will replace an older one currently undergoing demolition and will function as a single location for most Orange County services. Officials have not released the design, but the new facility is expected to be complete in 2020.
Orange County, which issued the bonds as a nonprofit public-benefit corporation, isn't alone in finding new, streamlined ways to finance the construction of civic projects.
When Long Beach, CA, officials decided that the city needed a new civic center, it chose a public-private partnership structure. The Plenary Group–led P3 helped finance the new $513 million complex, which includes a new city hall, space for port business operations, a library, a plaza and parking. The city plans to add residential, retail and hotel components in the future.
City officials said using a P3 framework, which included private financing, allowed Long Beach to move forward on the project without having to stop for voter approvals on bond issues or tax measures. The city said it would also benefit from private-industry expertise and innovation from the design phase through the maintenance and operations portions of the contract.
Public entities are increasingly using P3s, where state law allows, to help leverage their cash across more projects and leave the project administration and delivery — along with the accompanying headaches — to the private sector.
- The Orange County Register Orange County supervisors approve $178 million bond issuance to construct Civic Center building
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