“Simply put, no, we are not back at square one”

Yesterday, I put up a post about the La Puente City Council deciding to go with the Charles Co. for redevelopment of the former La Puente Lanes bowling alley site.

Naturally, this question came to mind: It’s good to hear that a decision has been made, but it makes me wonder where things go from here. The city was in talks with the Charles Co. for almost a year on this project, they didn’t get very far, mulled a new developer, and then went back to them.

Are we back at square one?

Well, looks like Mayor Louie Lujan wants to squelsh any concerns that the city is moving backwards. I got this e-mail from him this morning in response to the question:

Simply put, no, we are not back at square one. The main reasons are:

During the 45 day evaluation period much was progressing behind the scenes, including the Gadzunas eminent domain case.

Since the city successfully acquired the property from the Gadzunas eminent domain case, we have been working to relocate the businesses and are nearing completion of the entire transaction. Therefore, we are closer to the point at which we can begin demolition of the existing strip mall.

The critical analysis of the project by our redevelopment consultant and staff has given us a much clearer picture of how we can work within the constraints of our economy. Armed with this information, we can move forward more efficiently and therefore keep a strict project time line.

From here, we enter into a DDA with the Charles Company, complete all property acquisition and assembly, complete CEQA requirements, and begin to structure a time line for demolition. Meanwhile, the Charles Company will begin to confirm tenants.

Finally, the 45 day evaluation period was critical in that we were able to address the three areas of concern that I mentioned to you before:

The sagging economy
Project type: Big Box V.S. mixed-use
The Gadzunas land deal.

I have to say, the bit about the DDA does show serious commitment. This from the City of Long Beach:

A Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) is typically utilized by a city or
redevelopment agency for a specific project that will be built out in a single
phase. A redevelopment agency is allowed to enter into a DDA so long as the proposed project is within a redevelopment project area.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe they are not at squareone, however a better question is why the whole almost switch of developers? This explanation ignores that question. What was so wrong with the charles company before that was some how “righted” thru this process?

  • Bigger picture

    City of La Puente – “Where the Past Meets the Future”
    The “past” of zero being done by former council members to better the city, to the “future” of nothing being done by the current council members.
    Development of bowling alley site property – stalled. Youth Center, still not done. New majority, same old story.

  • Truthprevails

    Someone should ask how much their little 45-day evaluation period cost the City?

  • Truthneverprevails

    Someone should ask Truthprevails if he/she has a life.

  • My Dog Spot

    Is it true it cost the city over 5 million dollars

  • My Dog Spot

    Sorry, Forget my comment above. I just found out that it cost the city nothing. Great job guys! Finally, we can move forward.

  • Anonymous

    Just what i thought. It did cost the city 5.5 Million, plus the city had to barrow money to buy another property. Who is footing that bill and interest.

  • My Dog Spot

    Actually, it cost the city nothing. I just called the City Manager last week and she confirmed it.

    She also said that the economy is not helping the project, but that the budget is balanced and no extra costs are a result of the bowling alley project.

  • Anonymous

    Who ever the 2nd my dog spot is. i just spoke with city manager.She said the city did lose over 4.5 million and the balance budget if you want to call it that it was cut over 1.4 million and cuts to programs for residents and senior and have to pay back a loan for 2.5 million because money lost on bowling alley .So who did you speak to Holloway.Holloway is not the city manager i know he thinks he is.

  • Truthprevails

    Actually, it cost the city nothing. SO My Dog Spot, whoever you are – you are tight.

    I just called the City Manager just NOW! and she confirmed it.

    She also said that the economy is not helping the project, but that the budget is balanced and no extra costs are a result of the bowling alley project.

    Finally, she mentioned that the city DID NOT lose over 4.5 million and the budget is BALANCED. She mentioned that the loan for 2.5 million was to complete the project that the Charles Company changed on the city 5 times.

    So I am not sure who Anonymous is talking to but it is not the City Manager.

  • Anonymous

    Have any of you seen Dan Holloway’s recent LETTER to the community?! Someone should ask for a copy from city hall! he is so full of himself!

    He takes credit for everything except the resurrection of Christ.

    Also, I heard he violated state law by using the city logo on his letter. This needs to be investigated!!!