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Jury Selection in Gray 1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions Inc. and Bruce Elieff to Begin Thursday, May 27th

Minutes from the Orange County Superior Court Docket in the case of Gray 1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions Inc. indicate that jury selection for the trial will begin this Thursday.

Action Alameda News previously reported that Gray 1 CPB LLC, a real estate investment fund in San Diego, had secured a pre-judgment writ of attachment to the tune of $7.9 million against SunCal CEO Bruce Elieff’s personal property and the SunCal mothership entity, SCC Acquisitions Inc. SCC Acquisitions Inc. is the presumed parent entity of SunCal’s Alameda Point special-purpose entity, SCC Alameda Point LLC, created for the redevelopment of Alameda Point.

Gray 1 CPB LLC had purchased a batch of commercial loans from Central Pacific Bank, of Hawaii, including the $7.9 million loan that Central Pacific Bank (CPB) had made to SunCal, and which SunCal CEO Bruce Elieff had guaranteed. Now, Gray 1 is trying to collect on the loan through the courts. SCC Acquisitions Inc. had counter-sued Gray 1 CPB and Central Pacific Bank for breach of contract. Orange County Superior Court Judge Charles Margines has ruled that the cases will be “bifurcated,” or, in other words, treated as separate trials with separate rulings.

Sources tell Action Alameda News that some of the rulings on pre-trial motions are favorable to Gray 1 CPB. For example, the judge denied a SunCal motion to preclude Gray 1 CPB, LLC from referring to itself as a “lender” in the trial; Gray 1 CPB LLC, now holding the loan notes, is effectively the lender to SunCal. SunCal had also asked the judge for an order regarding pre-instruction of the jury, which was denied. SunCal and Bruce Elieff also withdrew a motion to preclude evidence of the wealth of Bruce Elieff and SCC Acquisitions, Inc. from being entered in the trial; this might mean that the secretive Bruce Elieff will ultimately reveal details of his net worth to the court as part of the trial. Court documents show that Mr. Elieff, in his loan guarantee, had promised to maintain a minimum net worth of $40 million.

The case is number 30-2008-00112660-CU-CO-CJC in Orange County Superior Court. The trail is set to begin June 1st.

SunCal in Alameda

Andrew Thomas, of the City of Alameda Planning Department has responded to an outstanding request from Action Alameda News – how does SunCal, with their alternative development plan for Alameda Point plan to achieve densities of 50 dwelling units per acre (du/ac) when a plain reading language of the City’s density bonus ordinance suggests that the maximum density allowed would be 29 du/ac. Mr. Thomas had two answers.

“What SunCal is proposing is something that the City has never done, nor did we plan for in our Density Bonus Ordinance. I personally believe that to accomplish what SunCal is proposing will require some form of amendment to the Density Bonus Ordinance. So there is no City code or ordinance that explains or regulates what they are trying to do,” he wrote.

In a more detailed answer, which we summarize here, Mr. Thomas explained that SunCal is asking for a City-approved “master density bonus” which would approve a maximum number of housing units for Alameda Point (4,845 units) on a fixed area of land. The overall density would be no more than 29 du/ac, but some areas would have 50 du/ac – well above the 29 du/ac allowed for in the City’s ordinance – and others would have from 0, to 10 to 17 du/acre.

The overall plan, and number of housing units that SunCal is proposing in their alternate plan is essentially the same plan that was rejected by voters when they voted down Measure B, 85% to 15%, in February of this year.

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