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A Development Group Submits Ambitious Plan to Seaside, California Officials
 to Build a 250-room Hotel and Conference Center; Development Would
 Affect Homes, Businesses and a Church
By Andre Briscoe, The Monterey County Herald, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Business News

Feb. 7, 2007 - A development group has submitted an ambitious plan to Seaside city officials to build a 250-room hotel and conference center on land owned in part by former baseball star Reggie Jackson.

City officials refused to confirm whether Jackson, who owns a 20,000 square-foot parcel on the site, was connected with the proposed development. Deputy City Manager Diana Ingersoll said the developers asked to remain anonymous until after the city takes action on the proposal.

Ingersoll stressed that the proposal is in its early stages and that no decisions have been made.

The so-called Seaside Landmark proposal would be built on almost six acres at the corner of Canyon del Rey and Del Monte boulevards, across from the Embassy Suites, and would require people in 17 homes, four businesses and a church to relocate.

Bethel Missionary Baptist Church owns four parcels on Elm Avenue.

The Seaside City Council last week agreed to notify area residents and business owners about the plans after the city received the unsolicited proposal from the group in January to develop the land as part of the Laguna Grande Redevelopment area. Property owners in the area started receiving the notices Monday.

In the letter, city officials said the proposal was consistent with the city's goal of increasing commercial development in Seaside.

At least one Seaside councilman said residents who are displaced by the proposed project would be fairly compensated.

"The one thing people should realize is that no one loses," said Councilman Don Jordan. "If you are a homeowner, it's quite likely that we would put you in a brand-new home in Fort Ord. The only thing that would probably change would be your neighbors. It's up to everybody in the city to try to make these people feel safe."

The project would include a 252-space parking structure and housing for hotel employees.

Embassy Suites Hotel Monterey Bay, across the street from the proposed hotel site, has 225 suites and sits on six acres.

Lidio Guerrero, who has lived in his home in the 300 block of Amador since 1996, said he was notified of the project Monday. He said he isn't opposed to moving as long as he is compensated for the value of his home.

"It all comes down to that," said Guerrero's son, Juan. "Anywhere he goes he is at least going to pay $700,000. He will just wait and see what they offer him to move."

Owners of homes and businesses will have 30 days to answer agency requests for participation in any potential development on the land. The notifications invite property owners to file a "statement of interest in participation form" with the city.

Andre Briscoe can be reached at 646-4436 or abriscoe@montereyherald.com.

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Copyright (c) 2007, The Monterey County Herald, Calif.

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