[caption id="attachment_25847" align="alignright" width="312" caption="The Judge Joseph A. Rattigan Building in Santa Rosa was one of 11 state office buildings to be sold for $2.33 billion to buoy state finances. (courtesy of the Department of General Services)"][/caption]

State courts have put off the pending $2.33 billion sale-leaseback deal for 11 state office properties statewide, including the Judge Joseph A. Rattigan Building in downtown Santa Rosa.

An appellate court on Monday set the start of arguments in a challenge to the sale for Jan. 23, and the state Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to let the sale proceed by the end of his term this year, according to the Associated Press.

The state Department of General Services first announced its intent to sell the buildings in December 2009. Based on a pending deal approved by the Legislature and unveiled in October, the state would sell the buildings and lease them back for 20 years.

Three former members of a state building authority sued, alleging the deal was an illegal gift of public funds and circumvented the Judicial Council on decisions related to court buildings, according to the Associated Press.

The sale proceeds would bring in $1.2 billion for state general fund spending and $1.09 billion to pay off bond financing for the buildings.

The buyer would be California First LLC, a joint venture between Houston-based Hines and Antarctica Capital Real Estate LLC.

Antarctica Capital is itself a venture between Rich Mayo of Spyglass Realty Partners and Chandra Patel of Irvine-based Antarctica Capital, beat about 300 other suitors for the properties in the Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas totaling 7.3 million square feet.