Did the state do well in its building sale/leaseback?

Depends on how you do the measuring. A portfolio of 11 office properties, including the downtown Ronald Reagan Building, were sold to an investment group for $2.33 billion. Of that amount, $1.2-billion goes to the state's general fund and $1.09 billion will be used to pay off bonds on the buildings. Nice. Thing is, the state did an analysis that compares the costs of selling and leasing the buildings back to the costs of continued ownership, and the results were a touch murkier. From the OC Register:

The study determined that the state would save $2 million over the first 20 years as a tenant. But the costs of renting vs. owning could be higher after that. For example, the estimated cost would be $253 million after 30 years of renting the buildings; $359 million after 40 years; and $569 million after 50 years. "It is important to point out that the uncertainty with cash flow projections increases and the accuracy diminishes as you forecast out further in time," the analysis says. And since the state has the option of renegotiating the leases or moving out after 20 years, the analysis adds, "the amounts shown beyond the initial 20-year lease term are not relevant."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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