Credit for this story goes to the Orange County Business Journal's Rick Reiff, who is actually breaking the news when Inside OC with Rick Reiff airs tomorrow at 1 p.m., which we taped this afternoon but he allowed me to pre-break because he's re-breaking the news in his Monday OCBJ column…wait, are we in Back to the Future?
Anyhoo, Rick's scoop is this: Mike Harrah, the notorious SanTana developer who has for years wanted to build
a Freudian testament to his manhood One Broadway Plaza, a 37-story office tower that would be the tallest in Orange County, has finally found a company willing to lease at least 50 percent of his building. Why is this crucial? Because according to a 2005 referendum that allowed him to build a skyscraper in a residential neighborhood, Harrah wasn't allowed to begin construction until that threshold was reached.
Of course, that didn't sit well with Harrah, who magically added four stories to his as-yet-built tower earlier this year. Last year, Harrah also convinced the SanTana City Council to drop that threshold, which led to community activists filing a lawsuit; last week, a judge ruled that the issue must go back to the voters.
But Harrah told Reiff in a phone interview that the issue is moot; he has found a company that will lease at least 50 percent of One Broadway Plaza, that the contract will be signed in August, and the groundbreaking on the project will begin in the fall. Who's the gullible company? Harrah, of course, wouldn't disclose to Reiff–and if he wouldn't tell Rick, who's all for it, there's no way in hell he'd tell us, even if we did rent one of his buildings for a couple of years.
Of course, we've heard this from Harrah for years, so let's see what happenes…