A new City Hall for San Diego is one step closer to being built.

Mayor Jerry Sanders has asked the City Council to enter into exclusive negotiations with an Oregon developer to possibly build the downtown complex. The Portland-based Gerding Edlen has proposed replacing the aging City Hall with a 33-story glass and steel tower.

Sanders said building a new City Hall should happen only if it saves the city money.

"I call on the City Council to take this opportunity to negotiate for the lowest-cost, lowest-risk and most environmentally friendly redevelopment possible," Sanders said Monday.

Councilman Carl DeMaio, who is the proposal's fiercest critic, thinks a new City Hall is too expensive. He advocates upgrading the existing building.

The mayor said voters would ultimately decide the issue.

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