The following press release was issued by the Construction Authority on 2/10/11.
Construction Authority Announces Agreement with Property Owner
Important final agreement reduces serious risk, keeping project on schedule and on budget
MONROVIA, Calif. – The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) announced today that the agency has settled with Excalibur Property Holdings LLC (Excalibur) for its land – 20% of the land required for the Foothill Extension light rail project’s maintenance and operations facility. The settlement, which was the result of court-ordered settlement negotiations, includes a set price for the land, as well as an agreement to terminate all current and future litigation by this property owner.
“Over the last year, Excalibur has instigated a series of lawsuits against the Construction Authority and continued to threaten more,“ said Doug Tessitor, Chairman of the Construction Authority Board of Directors and Glendora Mayor. “Although we feel confident that we would have prevailed on the legal issues over time, the delay caused by the legal process and the uncertainties related to continuing through eminent domain were very risky, making this settlement the best decision for the Authority and our partner Metro.”
Together, the Construction Authority and Metro participated in the negotiations. After reviewing the potential risks (significant costs and delays) associated with continuing to fight the litigation, as well as the likely land cost that could be imposed by an eminent domain jury, the agencies concluded that the settlement was a prudent decision to protect tax dollars by:
- Resolving all lawsuits for a set price at $24 million
- Avoiding continuation of costly litigation, both currently on-going and being threatened for the future
- Averting a possible two-year project delay associated with the litigation process that could result in project cost increases of well over $100 million
- Eliminating the unknown result of a jury verdict in the eminent domain process
“With Excalibur’s land, the Authority now has approved agreements with all of the private property owners within the maintenance facility site – providing approximately half of the land needed for the facility,” said Tessitor. “That is a major milestone that the Authority needed to meet per our funding agreement with Metro, keeping us on schedule to issue a full “Notice to Proceed” to our winning contractor this Spring and most importantly keeping the project on schedule for completion in 2015.”
About the Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa
The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa is a $735 million project fully funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R. The light rail extension is being overseen by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority and is currently undergoing final design and construction. Construction of the 11.5-mile light rail extension is on schedule to be completed in 2015, adding six new stations along the Gold Line in the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. The project is estimated to generate nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic output for the region during construction.