Canadian developer plans hotel for Rowland property

A Canadian developer is proposing a new 250-room hotel for the old John Rowland property on Gale Avenue. The Parallax Investment Corporation of Toronto will also add 100,000 square feet of retail space, with 30 percent dedicated to restaurants.

“We met with the developer and architect a couple weeks ago to go over their proposal,” explained Ted Ebenkamp, president of the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

Ebenkamp said architect Ken Smith will discuss the major development at Monday night’s council meeting.

“They want to get a feeling for the community’s support for such a project,” the civic officer said.

Ebenkamp said the new four-star hotel would occupy 5.5 acres of the 14-acre parcel. The lot just west of Nogales Street has been vacant for many years.
“One developer had plans for a shopping center, but they went bankrupt before they could build there,” Ebenkamp said.

Smith said the hotel will have five or six stories. The representative from Architects Orange pointed out that the hotel will include underground parking.
The Orange County architect wouldn’t say how much the project would cost.

But construction can’t begin for a couple years, while contractors close Nogales Street to build the new railroad underpass.
“An temporary access road is being built on the Rowland property to divert traffic from Nogales, which closes on March 22,” Ebenkamp noted.

The City of Industry joined Los Angeles County and a public construction agency for the $100 million project to widen Gale Avenue and Walnut Drive and build a railroad underpass at Nogales Street.

The project is one many grade separation in the San Gabriel Valley being built by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) to alleviate traffic congestion at train crossings.

More than 50 trains cross Nogales Street daily. Officials have counted seven collisions between trains and vehicles at the busy intersection in the past decade.

ACE is the agency leading construction of the project. Nogales will be closed and the 42,680 cars that use it every day will be taken on a detour to the west.

“We had to do a detour. If we don’t do that detour, the impact on parallel streets – Fullerton Road to the west and Fairway to the east – would be substantial,” said ACE’s Executive Director Rick Richmond in an earlier interview.

While the project involved ACE buying almost 40 pieces of land, most of the takes were small parts of properties, Richmond said. Only two complete properties were bought: a closed gas station and a vacant construction warehouse.

The warehouse was taken to make room for ACE to move a major sewer trunk line, Richmond said.

Money for the $96.7 million project is coming from federal transportation funds, Industry, state transportation funds and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
— Ben Baeder contributed to this story.

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