Friday, August 17 , 2018, 1:38 am | Overcast 69º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Despite Missing Documents, Lompoc Council Agrees to Enter Negotiations for Space Center Project

Months after a Polish woman failed to provide requested documents, the Lompoc City Council has agreed to proceed forward on ambitious plans to develop a space center despite the absence of significant information from Eva Blaisdell.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to enter into a one-year exclusive negotiation agreement with Blaisdell and her California Space Center LLC. Yet, the council made the approval conditional after Blaisdell failed to two critical pieces of information.

The decision comes more than three months after the council agreed in February to spend 90 days crafting the agreement with Blaisdell. At the time, city staff pointed out her proposal was significantly flawed and lacked critical information the city sought from any potential developers should provide.

Months later, many more questions remain about Blaisdell, who calls herself an entrepreneur and a member of the Polish media.

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.”

“We put a lot of confidence in you,” Mayor Bob Lingl said after the vote. “Please don’t let us down. I know you won’t. Just as a reminder, there’s some hard deadlines in here. We’re going to hold you to them, OK?”

Blaisdell formed California Space Center LLC as a Delaware corporation in February after the council agreed to work toward the exclusive negotiation agreement. 

However, Tuesday’s approval was conditional. City officials said they lacked proof she had the right to do business in California, a situation now rectified according to the state website, which lists the California Space Center.

City staff also said they needed proof Blaisdell had authority to sign the exclusive negotiating agreement on behalf of the limited liability corporation.

The exclusive negotiating agreement also includes several critical milestones Blaisdell must meet in the upcoming months. For instance, in 30 days after the exclusive negotiating agreement is signed, Blaisdell must provide the missing information she was supposed to submit as part of the request for qualifications. If a deadline is missed, the agreement would allow the city to issue a 45-day cancellation.

“This is a serious document. We’re not taking this lightly,” Councilman Jim Mosby said.

“This is a tall order but if there’s anyone who can meet it, it’s I and my team,” Blaisdell said under further questioning from council members.

Additionally, she is required to deposit $25,000 to the city to cover staff costs for their time related to the project. If the amount falls below $10,000, she must contribute more money to boost the fund total at $25,000.

Blaisdell said she is seeking venture capital for the project from across the world for the project and says she had used her own funds so far in the last 18 months.

When Councilman Victor Vega asked if any investors would be willing to speak up now, Blaisdell said she could produce documents from senior executives at IBM pledging to invest in the project. 

“I am very happy to disclose this information in a more confidential way,” she said, adding she agreed to join an exclusive investors club in Silicon Valley to take their money.

The value of the land won’t make the project occur, she added. 

She said she has been busy meeting with assorted firms such as IMAX, Sony, Bechtel and Apple about the project, with a photo of her and Apple CEO Tim Cook included in her video and on social media sites.

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 more other endeavors fail for assorted reasons.

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

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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >