The city of Laguna Beach agreed to buy a four-unit office building downtown for $1.4 million, City Manager John Pietig announced Tuesday.
The deal for the building at the corner of Forest Avenue and Ocean Avenue is expected to close on July 18 and will speed up preparations for the village entrance project, which was also approved on Tuesday.
The building’s proximity to City Hall proved a key factor in its acquisition by providing a solution to housing 15 city employees, currently working out of temporary structures and trailers behind City Hall. The area needs to be cleared before the construction of the proposed parking structure begins.
The purchase of existing office space eliminates the need to construct quarters in the ACT V canyon parking lot, as previously planned.
The city will fund the acquisition with money already set aside for relocation in the capital improvement fund.
Purchasing existing space instead of constructing a new building reduces relocation costs by $300,000, bringing them to $2.2 million from an estimated $2.5 million. It also saves 25 parking spaces in the canyon lot, said Pietig.
The deal will come before the City Council on June 18.