Houston Developer Won't Rebuild San Diego's City Hall

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San Diego is considering a massive project to replace its City Hall complex, and for a long time it was thought that Houston developer Gerald Hines had the inside track for the job.

No longer.

Hines issued a press release today saying they are pulling out of the competition to be awarded the job.

There are no specific numbers on how much the contract would have been worth to the company, but San Diego officials say the Hines version of the new City Hall would have cost the city $784 million over 50 years. So needless to say, it's a big project. (Pictured above.)

It would include a city hall, a large office building and a civic theater. Another reason Hines was thought to be the favorite is that they built San Diego's baseball stadium and are in tight with SD bigwig and UH alum John Moores.

But a competing proposal, by a Portland company, was found to be cheaper, costing the city from $628 million to $650 million over the same 50-year period. It' also represents a "greener" approach to the project, analysts said.

"While we remain confident in the strength of our proposal, it is clear that the initial analysis conducted in this process does not favor our approach," Hines spokesman Paul Twardoski said. "For that reason, we have made a business decision to withdraw from the competition and to focus our efforts on our other projects in San Diego."

Come back to Houston, Gerald. We'd never let a little lack of green-ness get in the way.

-- Richard Connelly

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