It’s the case that has turned into a modern day Hatfield versus McCoy – McGee v. Torrance Unified School District, Case No. 8298122, 2nd District Court of Appeals (May 29, 2020) – a series of cases challenging the validity of certain lease-leaseback construction contracts in California.
In shootout number one, James McGee sued the Torrance Unified School District challenging the validity of lease-leaseback contracts the District had entered into with general contractor Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC. Under California’s lease-leaseback statute, a school district can lease property it owns to a developer, who in turns builds a school facility on the property and leases the facility back to the school district. The primary benefit of the lease-leaseback method of project delivery is that a school district does not need to come up with money to build the facility because the district pays for the facility over time through lease payments to the developer. In shootout number one, McGee argued that Torrance Unified School District was required to competitively bid the lease-leasebacks projects. The 2nd District Court of Appeals disagreed.