San Diego is paying almost $18,000 a day to rent a vacant building

SAN DIEGO– What started as an effort to consolidate San Diego city workers in new downtown office space has devolved into a long-term arrangement that is costing taxpayers almost $18,000 a day in rent for a building that is likely to remain vacant for months to come.

Hundreds of city employees were supposed to move into the former Sempra Energy headquarters at 101 Ash St. in July, but various delays have left the 19-story office tower unused since San Diego city officials signed a lease-to-own agreement in January 2017, reports San Diego Union-Tribune.

At $535,000 a month plus operating and maintenance expenses, the lease has cost more than $8.5 million so far. Such costs will exceed $200 million over 20 years for a building that sold for $72 million in 2016.