Supervisors to Discuss Civic Center Overhaul

The Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday is set to discuss a 20-year master plan to renovate and redesign the Civic Center in downtown Santa Ana, home to 22 county-owned and leased buildings.

The plan addresses the future of the county’s property holdings in and around the Civic Center and aims to redesign the center to improve access to services for the public and reduce long-term maintenance costs for the county.

The 10 buildings in the Civic Center owned by the county are, on average, 47 years old, and cost $25.8 million to operate in 2016. Over 20 years, it has cost $512 million to operate, according to a staff presentation.

Under the current concept, the Civic Center would be divided into four “neighborhoods,” including: public safety, judicial, administration and public health.

The plan would include four phases as part of a contract with Irvine-based Griffin Structures to develop the properties before leasing it back to the county to own. According to the staff presentation, the county would pay no rent until departments begin occupying the buildings.

So far the discussion has not included plans for the large homeless population that lives in and around the Civic Center.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Hall of Administration, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd.

Contact Thy Vo at or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.


  • Philmore

    What the public said –
    Our County Government is largely inept, dysfunctional, and corrupt. ”
    What they heard –
    Our County Government Buildings are no longer shiny enough for folks with the raises we just gave ourselves to be content pretending to work inside of. ”
    How many lampposts are in the Civic Center area ? I’m sure the rope would be happily donated.

  • LFOldTimer

    According to the reports in the OC Register this latest pie in the sky project has a pricetag of over $500 million (or for the Common Core educated that’s over a half billion dollars). It’s either feast or famine for the kings and queens of county goverment. Not long ago the fearless leaders couldn’t pay their hired help without digging deep into their reserves. Today money is no object. They spend it like water runs through a sieve with no concern about the future. I guess they think that the economic bubble driven by massive mountains of debt, deficit spending and 0% interest rates will last forever. ha. Zero vision. Bartlett never saw a dollar of other people’s money that she didn’t love to spend on more government waste. Now that she’s the Chair she feels like a 14 year old diva with daddy’s no-limit credit card. Spend it while ya got it. When the markets crash watch Bartlett blame it all on the county treasurer. ha. These are some of the most irresponsible county rulers that we’ve seen in the history of the OC. Wait until the DOW crashes to 8,000 and home values fall by 50%. The deer in the headlights look on Bartlett’s face will be classic.

  • OCservant_Leader

    The County “officials” managing the properties actually own them. Yes, the organized crime unit AKA the Band of Brothers, running the County, are laughing all the way to the bank.

    Nothing like getting those tax dollars directly deposited into your personal bank account on a monthly basis -And to get paid to manage it? Only in the OC.

    And they are slum lords too-these public work’s managers- pocketing profits while county workers work in ghetto conditions-violating every law. They think it’s funny.

    One of the Supervisors called the area – what shameful or something? Not to the 1% on direct deposit of county tax dollars – living in gated communities! And they get paid to demolish the toxic- fire traps too!

    Building 16 (and the other building #16 – yes there were two), And the bus terminal mystery are just scratching the surface of the real estate corruption.

  • Jacki Livingston

    What a crock. Spitzer just wants his name on a building.

  • Paul Lucas

    Really bad idea to focus on this right now with so many other priorities that are so much more pressing. Really bad decision at this time.

  • Rene Salinas

    Why would you sole source something this big. Proper and ethical government requires a transparent public bid project. What makes Griffin Structures so special? Are they the only ones that can do this kind of work?

    • David Zenger

      Good question…

      The story is long and somewhat convoluted. As you might expect, County procurement policy has been violated along the way.

  • David Zenger

    “The plan would include four phases as part of a contract with
    Irvine-based Griffin Structures to develop the properties before leasing
    it back to the county to own. According to the staff presentation, the
    county would pay no rent until departments begin occupying the

    What a great idea! Hire a “developer” to build buildings that are then rented back from him! Meantime a small army of County “project managers” is happily engaged over in the Osborne Building overseeing out side consulting “project managers” as authority and accountability gets further and further obfuscated and diffuse.

    And now, just for fun, check out the amounts of money Griffin Structures has poured into the campaign accounts of the Supervisors over the years.