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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 1:00 pm | Fair 66º


Lompoc Sends Default Notice To Proposed Space Center Project

The city of Lompoc has sent the developer of the ambitious California Space Center project a letter of default after she failed to submit 14 items of information by the 30- and 60-day deadlines. 

Polish businesswoman Eva Blaisdell was granted an exclusive negotiating agreement in May, with the caveat she needed to supply several pieces of information to the city, some immediately and some over time.

On Tuesday night, after discussing the matter behind closed doors, the City Council members directed their attorney to send a notice of default letter to Blaisdell because the California Space Center LLC had not complied with deadlines to submit information.

“So we’re providing them an exact list of what it is they still need to provide and within 45 days they have to provide that or the exclusive negotiating agreement will be terminated,” City Attorney Joe Pannone said when announcing the council decision.

The exclusive negotiating agreement had several milestones Blaisdell was expected to meet, with city officials emphasizing they needed the data to continue talks. 

“The City Council certainly appreciates your efforts to bring the California Space Center (the proposed project) to the Lompoc community and remains cautiously hopeful that will occur,” the Sept. 16 letter says.

“However, the Council also has a fiduciary duty to protect public assets.”

Items missing include letters of reference for Blaisdell, tangible evidence the group has sufficient funds for the project to move from the negotiating step to the development agreement, names and qualifications for those who make up the development team and more.

The letter, which is signed by City Manager Patrick Wiemiller, said the city remains committed to continuing talks if the missing information is provided.

“However, please be advised any comments received that express or imply a need for the transfer of ownership of the city-owned real property as a prerequisite to providing any of the above information will be considered non responsive and will not cure the current default,” the city said.

The city letter said that if the data isn’t provided the agreement will end Nov. 2 since the 45-day mark falls on a weekend.

On the California Space Center Facebook page Wednesday night Blaisdell, who calls herself an entrepreneur and member of the Polish media, said she was surprised at the notice.

“I was totally surprised last night being told that City Management is giving me 45 days to come up with things City Council indicated before as unrealistic to ask for at this stage of the California Space Center project,” she wrote.

“As you know I am spending my funds, my effort, innovation, relationships to bring the change to Lompoc.”

Proposed for 82 acres of city land near Allan Hancock College’s Lompoc Valley Center, the for-profit, multimillion-dollar California Space Center would be a combination entertainment, education and research facility.

It would serve as a visitor center, have an IMAX theater and a museum. Other features include a hotel, restaurant, convention hall, business park, light theme-park attractions or what a one supporter called a “space Disneyland.”

Blaisdell tried to rally residents to support the project.

“This is up to you , this decision was made on your behalf, only you can change it because city represents your interests and is to act on your behalf,” she said.

She also has threatened to build it elsewhere.

“City Administration just made the decision for you and on your behalf to discourage me and my investors from spending our money to carry on with California Space Center mission. City Management give me such a terms that investors are telling me not to waste their money in Lompoc and build Space Center somewhere else,” she said.

Blaisdell’s version of the project has drawn support from people eager to the see the space center developed and wariness from those who have seen other endeavors fail for assorted reasons.

The site has long been targeted for the space center. Yet, the proposals by various groups including a former mayor and former congresswoman, have fizzled.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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