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Annual bond payments lower than expected in Pacific View purchase

ENCINITAS — Encinitas’ annual debt payments for the purchase of Pacific View and the renovation of the Moonlight Beach lifeguard tower will be lower than city estimates, city staff said.

According to a city report, the terms for the $13 million bond sale for the two projects included 4.59 percent interest rate, which translates into $810,000 in annual payments over the life of the bond repayment.

That’s lower than the $815,000 estimate made in September and the $835,000 estimate city staff gave the council on Oct. 22, when finance staff estimated the interest rate to be at 4.77 percent.

“I knew going in that we were working with estimates and market conditions would drive the final costs, so it was nice that it indeed come in lower than we anticipated,” said Councilman Tony Kranz, an ardent supporter of the Pacific View purchase. “I know the entire process has been pretty controversial because of the 3-2 split on things, but it is exciting to me to be closer to closing the deal and being able to move forward as a council with some direction on how to use that site.”

The city anticipates closing escrow on the property purchase sometime this month, and potentially hosting a celebration sometime in early 2015.

At the same time, a council subcommittee composed of Kranz and Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer will start the process of identifying interim uses for the site.

“Ultimately, all this effort has been toward keeping the property public and finding a use that will benefit the community,” Kranz said. “We can now put the controversy of the acquisition behind us and certainly move toward the next phase with a positive attitude and I am quite hopeful that we can find a use that the people will embrace.”

The $13 million bond includes $10 million for the land purchase and $3 million for the renovation of the city’s largest lifeguard tower, which will include doubling its square footage, a move city officials hope will accommodate the city’s needs for the next 50 years.

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