Sunday, December 28, 2014

San Diego Courthouse Project Not A P3

California officials liked their P3 experience so well in Long Beach, California they've opted against that controversial approach for building a brand new courthouse in San Diego. The central courthouse, which will house 71 criminal and civil courtrooms, will cost $555 million to build and be paid for by court fees and fines. It is scheduled to open in 2016. The same San Francisco-based architect which is serving on the design team of the winning bidder for Indianapolis' proposed criminal justice center project, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, designed San Diego's new courthouse.

The downtown mafia in Indianapolis insisted it was bad economic development to keep the criminal courts and jail in downtown Indianapolis, but in San Diego a shimmering 22-story skyscraper will stand right smack in the middle of downtown because of the concentration of legal and law enforcement activities there. It will sit across the street from a luxury W Hotel. A tunnel connecting the courthouse to the jail has been on hold for the time being due to its $25 million cost, but it might be added later if a new parking garage is built.

Here's how San Diego's new courthouse will look floor-by-floor according to the U-T San Diego:

1: Court business, felony arraignment courtrooms and lobby with radiant heat flooring
2: Court business and misdemeanor arraignment courtrooms
3: Jury assembly, cafe and outdoor public terrace
4: Family law business offices, and judges chambers on Floors 4-22
5-8: Family law courtrooms
9-10: Civil law courts
11-22: Criminal courts
Lower basement: 80 parking spaces for judges and court vehicles
1st basement: Sallyport for prisoner transportation vehicles, about 40 multiple occupant cells; showers and changing rooms for bike commuters and electrical vehicle charging stations on one or both levels.

Officials are also considering what to do with the old courthouse built in 1961. California officials hope a developer will be willing to buy the courthouse property, demolish it and build a new high-rise development on its site. Real estate experts believe a private developer might pay as much as $36 million to acquire the two prime downtown blocks. In Indianapolis, the downtown mafia is already cutting deals to have the City of Indianapolis give away the prime real estate on which the county jail sits for free to a developer, along with tens of millions in subsidies from the downtown TIF fund to redevelop the site. Downtown Indianapolis is such a great place to build that only real estate developers who are given the land for free and receive 20-25% of the development costs as a subsidy are willing to build there.
San Diego's existing central courthouse


Anonymous said...

A much more efficient design than the Criminal Justice Complex proposed for Indianapolis.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gary for remaining steady on this Greg Ballard-backed scam even if it is just another done-deal cooked up behind closed doors or on expense, useless world tours.

Could there be a more excellent rebuttal than the "San Diego Courthouse Project Not a P3" article against local crony RINO establishment Republicans and featherbedding power-mad Democrats who would have us believe that any so-called P3 deals(or "government-private partnership" scams or TIF scams) are a benefit to the taxpayers?

"P3" must stand for Plan, Push Through, and Profit where the legal and political insiders [1] Plan and write out the scam (sort of like Alex Carroll's Republican attorney might have done for the ROC). [2] Push Through the insider deals against the will of the people- deals that reek to the exosphere with imbecilic explanations no matter how many intelligent argument against the deal are made, and [3) Profit at the taxpayers' expense.

A mayor more deeply detested by his party's grass roots this City has not witnessed in a long, long time. And anyone foolish enough to believe that electing Howdy Doody- who in reality seems to be Greg Ballard in a little more than shiny, slightly more mediagenic, and much trimmer package- is going to be the "real change" Indy needs... well, the Russians thought trading Lenin for Stalin would be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

80 underground parking spaces for
71 judges in San Diego equals a shoehorn

Gary R. Welsh said...

I assume they will still be able to use the parking available in the nearby courthouse until a new parking garage is built.

Anonymous said...

Like we needed any more proof that Ballard has been from day one a complete tool. And corrupt as hell to boot.


Anonymous said...

Great reporting, Mr. Welsh. It sounds like the San Diego project was actually well thought out by comparison.
The two jail buildings next to 65/70 are on the historic register - they can be re-purposed but they cannot be torn down. I've been in these buildings (working as a consultant) - it will take a hell of a lot of money to make them into something else. But the city-county building would be prime real estate. Oops - the city-county building replacement project hasn't been announced yet.

Anonymous said...

Excellent reporting. Rebuts every phony argument favoring the Indy P3 Criminal Justice Center issuing from both sides of Republican Councilor Jeff Miller's disingenuous face.

Anonymous said...

Please note that the reason that San Diego can build court houses without P3's is that they have a Senate Bill that authorizes them to fund court house construction projects from user fees directly derived from the court facilities rather than General Funds. Therefore, they have a funding mechanism and don't need outside investors.