FAIRFIELD — Two downtown properties the Fairfield Redevelopment Agency bought for $750,000 nearly a decade ago should be sold for $150,000 to a Los Angeles County-based developer, a city panel agreed Tuesday.
Titan Real Estate Investments plans retail uses for the two 6,000-square-foot lots along Texas Street across from the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts. City Council members serve as directors of the city’s Successor Agency to redevelopment and voted unanimously Tuesday for the sale that must also go before a city oversight board and the state Department of Finance.
Councilman John Mraz said he had opposed buying the properties in 2005 and 2006.
“We lost $600,000,” he said. “It’s gone.”
“We really took a beating,” Mraz added.
Karl Dumas, city senior economic development project manager, said before the vote that redevelopment bought the lots with two houses to address blight. Prices for properties have dropped since, he said.
“The real estate market was moving hot and heavy,” he said. “Things have changed.”
Councilwoman Catherine Moy said the properties at 1026 and 1046 Texas St. provide a lesson.
“City government shouldn’t be in the business of buying land,” she said. “It’s this kind of deal that made people who opposed redevelopment so angry.”
A 2011 state law abolished redevelopment agencies. California requires the sale of most properties owned by former redevelopment agencies. The Texas Street lots would be the first such sales for Fairfield.
City planning commissioners found in June that the sale proposal conforms to the city’s General Plan. Along with the state and the Fairfield agency, the Oversight Board for the city agency formed after redevelopment’s end, has to approve the sale. Mayor Harry Price, Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering and community members serve on the seven-member Oversight Board.
John Takeuchi of the Central Solano Citizen-Taxpayer Group said after the Tuesday vote that the taxpayers association opposed redevelopment from the beginning.
“You’re building a house of cards,” he said of the city buying properties.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.