K. Mennem 7:17 p.m., June 17
Kilroy Realty throws one-million dollars at city lobbyists to help with permits for One Paseo
The developer hopes the money will result in permits needed to start on massive mixed-use project
Kilroy Realty is sparing no expense trying to convince elected officials and city staffers to approve One Paseo, their 23.5 acre mixed-use development in Carmel Valley.
Executives at Kilroy have a tough road ahead of them.
Kilroy acquired the property located at the intersection of Del Mar Heights and El Camino Real in Carmel Valley, back in 2007, for $88 million. A high price for barren land at a time when the price of land was plummeting. The price was especially high, considering that the current community plan only allows 500,000 square-feet of building space on the parcel. As was reported in an 2008 article in the Union Tribune, factoring the price of the land and dividing it by the permissible square-footage, the cost translates to $176 dollars per square-foot.
So, it makes sense that the mega-developer of One Paseo is doing everything in its power to remove the zoning restrictions. Their efforts can be seen in lobbying disclosures filed with the City in recent years.
In a span of three years, Kilroy has spent more than one-million dollars on lobbyists to help squeeze the massive project through the pipeline.
Much of that money, according to lobbying disclosures filed with the City, has gone to land-use law firm Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis. Since the first quarter of 2009, Kilroy has shelled out $935,848 to the land-use lawyers to lobby high-level staffers from the development services department including Kelly Broughton, Renee Mezzo, Ann Gonsalves, Cecilia Gallardo, and Martha Blake.
The Los Angeles-based land developer has also hired some familiar names at City Hall. In 2011, the firm brought on former Development Services Director and current land-use consultant Marcela Escobar-Eck to lobby on their behalf. Since then, the firm paid Escobar-Eck $19,000 to push "timely and equitable processing of entitlements; conflict resolution on outstanding issues" for One Paseo.
And then there were payments to fellow-developer Urban Housing Partners the builder currently proposing RiverBend, formerly known as Shawnee, in Grantville. Since January 2011, Kilroy has paid Urban Housing Partners $117,000 to lobby Kelly Broughton and former Mayor Jerry Sanders.
Since the beginning of this year, Kilroy has already hired new lobbyists to try and gain favor for the project at City Hall. Among those lobbyists is Robin Madaffer, wife of former city councilmember and current publisher of several community newspapers Jim Madaffer, and her firm San Diego Land Lawyers. Kilroy hired Madaffer and company to try and get the City to reimburse Kilroy for the "design of Torrey Meadows Bridge for property south of SR-56 and west of Camino Ruiz."
Yet despite the lobbying efforts, Kilroy has a lot of work ahead of them. So far, Mayor Bob Filner has gone on the record in opposition to the project. And in a February 2 editorial, first-term County Supervisor Dave Robert also came out against the project. The final decision is up to the city council.