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— San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders has finally picked a long-awaited high-dollar consultant to help him restructure the city's Real Estate Assets Department. And the winner is: the brokerage firm of Grubb & Ellis. That's according to the City's Jim Anthony, who says he expects G&E to dig right into the trouble-filled department and come up with a report by sometime around Thanksgiving. According to city documents, the so-called Real Estate Service Provider will "provide the review and analysis required to recommend improvements to the Real Estate Asset Department's organizational structure, management practices, business processes, and operations. The RESP shall provide recommendations to maintain or improve upon the transparency, professionalism and sound business practices of READ while enabling the achievement of fiscal and community policy goals." Whatever. Taxpayers will fork over $250,000 to the company. Losing applicants for the job, says Anthony, were Chicago-based Equis, CB Richard Ellis, and Gensler. Insiders say the contract is only the first step toward outsourcing most or all municipal real estate management to local real estate dealers, many of whom contributed heavily to the mayor's campaign kitty.

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