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COMMUNITY NEWS
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Prospective buyer of O.C. Fairgrounds Appeals Ruling

Facilities Management West asks to correct errors in process rather than close the sale.

By Jessica BerriePublished: June 24, 2011 03:00 PM

Facilities Management West (FMW), would-be buyer of the OC Fairgrounds, has filed a petition asking the Fourth District Court of Appeals to reconsider their June 7th opinion. In this ruling, justices cited flaws in the initial bidding process, invalidating the proposed sale. In their petition, FMW requested that the court allow the state’s Department of General Services (DGS) to remedy the errors, rather than start the sale process over again.  “Both of the court’s issues can easily and effectively be addressed without forcing the state, which began its effort to sell the fairgrounds nearly two years ago, to start from scratch,” said FMW spokesman, Guy Lemmon. In its original opinion, the court referred to the absence of a fair market value comparison and an inability for losing bidders to protest the selection of FMW’s bid. Through an appeal, FMW hopes to address these issues. “We welcome an open review of losing bidder protests. We also welcome an appraisal, which would provide the Legislature another opportunity to gauge the outstanding value of our offer,” said Lemmon.The state’s DGS had accepted FMW’s $100 million bid in October, following a decision to put the fairgrounds up for sale to aid California’s budget deficit. The sale was put on hold following lawsuits opposing the acquisition.

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