It could take some weeks to determine the fate of California’s plan to sell 11 state-owned buildings to private investors in a sale-and-leaseback scheme.
In October the state announced an agreement to sell the 11 buildings to a consortium of investors led by privately owned real estate firm Hines and private-equity firm Antarctica Capital Real Estate for $2.33 billion.
The sale, promoted by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was structured to bring in about $1.2 billion to help close this year’s general fund deficit, after the redemption or defeasance of $1 billion of tax-exempt lease-revenue debt used to finance the buildings.
Opponents of the plan filed suit in November to stop the deal from closing.
The legal delay put the state’s decision in the hands of its new governor, Jerry Brown, after he was sworn in on Jan. 3.
Brown, who has expressed skepticism regarding the deal’s one-time benefits, said at a press conference on the budget Monday that he has not made up his mind if he will pursue the state’s appeal. The Democrat said he’s mindful that abandoning that the gambit will make California’s already large budget deficit $1.2 billion larger.
The appellate court has granted the Brown administration an additional month to decide if it wants to pursue the case, setting a Feb. 10 filing deadline.
Brown said Monday that he plans to use that month to think things over.