Stockton City Council Approves Purchase of New City Hall Building

STOCKTON -- Tuesday night, the Stockton City Council voted 6-1 to approve a motion to sign a $13.6 million purchase and sale agreement for the Waterfront Towers office buildings at 501 W. Weber Avenue.

The city will need to construct council chambers in this building, along with other interior modifications, bringing the total cost of operating the building as city hall to an estimated $25.5 million.

If the sale goes through, the city will start the acquisition process at the beginning of the year. However, it will take several years for the building to be ready for city staffers to move into.

Stockton's Economic Development Director Micah Runner says the city decided 10 years ago that the current city hall on El Dorado is too small for their needs at 60,000 square feet. Some of the current 350 city administration employees currently work at a building leased on Main Street for overflow. The new building has about 110,000 square feet.

Stocktonians had mixed reactions to the motion.

“Let's buy the building, let's make it our own, and this is where our home will be,” said Julie Cox, a Stockton resident.

"Just a year ago we were told that spending $500,000 to reopen the Fair Oaks Library would cost the city to go bankrupt, and now we're seeing graphs where it's time to spend $25 million over the next six years," said Montec Sanchez, a Stockton resident.

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs sees the purchase of the new building as an opportunity to help the city.

"We are tethered to the decisions of our past, but we have a chance to give something good to the future," Tubbs said.

Money for the purchase of the building is coming from general fund reserves, insurance proceeds and asset income.