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— Some say Graham's use of eminent domain didn't displace many people; land was basically taken from lenders. "We did file eminent domain against over 300 parties, but we aggressively pursued negotiations and settled. It became win-win," she claims. She says it's up to the Centre City board whether eminent domain will be a major component of future San Diego development.

West Palm Beach residents were told that an office building and hotel would be part of the CityPlace mix. Originally, it didn't happen, but Graham asserts that both should be under way fairly soon.

She had championed a "librando" -- a combination of library and condos. "It never got going in West Palm Beach," she says.

She does not believe that she had a conflict of interest with the Related Group, which developed CityPlace and is working on other projects. Zucaro agrees it's unfair to pin the conflict tag on her.

"She and I butted heads on a number of issues, but overall she did wonders for West Palm Beach," says Giorgio. "She had tremendous vision and took it forward. The downside is that every condo being built starts at $400,000 and goes up. Housing is becoming rapidly unaffordable for people who live here."

Says Joe Minicozzi, former urban planner in West Palm Beach, now practicing his craft in Asheville, North Carolina, "She threw out the zoning code; it was phenomenal. But we weren't allowed to bring up questions. So CityPlace didn't have affordable housing. It's a 900-pound gorilla, and the city is stuck with it."

That's another reason why she should fit in well in San Diego.

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