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Santa Monica and Expo Reach Settlement on Downtown Station
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 3, 2016 -- The legal battle between the City of Santa Monica and the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo) over the cost of the land where the Downtown light rail station sits came to an end this week with the announcement of a settlement.

Expo will pay the City nearly $20 million for the nearly 34,000-square-foot site on Colorado Avenue off Fourth Street.

Both parties will be responsible for their own legal fees, an Expo attorney said at the Authority's board's meeting on Thursday.

The Expo board's vote comes a little more than a week after the City Council voted for the agreement at its May 24 meeting. Both votes were unanimous.

Pam O’Connor, who sits on the two panels, was not allowed to vote on either one because of this conflict.

Expo board and council members did not speak publicly about the settlement prior to voting at their respective meetings. Lawyers read the terms of the deal out loud at both meetings.

The City and Expo had been fighting about this issue since late 2014. Expo had filed an eminent domain lawsuit in November of that year. The City responded with a cross complaint. There were several court appearances.

Expo had offered to pay $14.4 million for the property, but the City rejected that proposal, according to court documents.

The downtown station opened for service last month when the light rail kicked off the second half of its operation in a festive opening celebrating the arrival of passenger trains into Santa Monica for the first time in more than 60 years (“All Aboard Santa Monica’s New Light Rail Line,” May 20, 2016).

There are two other light rail stations in Santa Monica --26th St/Bergamot Station (at Olympic and 26th Street) and 17th St/SMC Station (at Colorado and 17th Street).

This second phase of the light rail project connects Culver City to Santa Monica on a 6.6-mile stretch of track.

The first phase of the line that stretches from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City opened in 2012.

Expo’s estimated travel time for the full length of the line from Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica is 48 minutes.

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