Del Mar looks to sign lease for temporary city hall

View of the proposed Del Mar civic center complex.
View of the proposed Del Mar civic center complex.
( / The Miller Hull Partnership)

When Del Mar’s city hall is demolished so a new civic center complex can be constructed, city staff will temporarily be housed at South Fair, rather than Shores Park as originally planned.

As part of the consent calendar, the City Council on April 4 authorized the city manager to negotiate and execute a lease for 6,625 square feet of space at the office building at 2010 Jimmy Durante Boulevard.

“The price for renting a place is about the same without the need to do construction and bring utilities and annoy neighbors and all that stuff that comes with going to the Shores, so we’re very happy about that,” Councilman Dwight Worden said.

Although the city had planned to place modular buildings on the Shores property — a 5.3-acre park bounded by Camino del Mar, Ninth Street and Stratford Court — space later became available at South Fair. Staff determined it “provides the most favorable combination of cost, operational efficiency, ease of move-in, and lack of environmental and neighbor Impacts,” according to the staff report.

The building isn’t equipped with an elevator, so the public counter area and the receptionist will be located on the first floor. Meeting space is also available.

A large open suite in the center of the complex will serve as the council chambers. There are separate bathrooms within the facility, and there is a room for Del Mar TV. The majority of the administrative staff will be located on the second floor.

Estimated construction of the civic center project is between 18 and 24 months. Providing a buffer, the lease term will be for 26 months.

The lease agreement is estimated to not exceed $225,000 in year one, and $275,000 in year two. The council previously approved up to $450,000 for the relocation and interim facility.

City Manager Scott Huth said the civic center project is on schedule, with staff expected to move in May and demolition of the existing city hall at 1050 Camino del Mar to take place in June and July. The design team, he said, is working on construction drawings, which should be available in August, with a construction contract awarded in early fall.

“I can’t wait to look at the construction drawings,” said Councilman Don Mosier, noting that the design plans are “incredibly detailed.”

“The plans look good,” he added. “The team has sort of caught up to the schedule and we’re moving ahead. The only delays have been caused by the council decisions. The architects have sped up to make up the time we lost.”