After exploration, Azusa choose Lewis Corp.

In an effort to bring a booming business center to the downtown area, Azusa took the first major step in the process by selecting a developer for the project Monday night.

Lewis Operating Corporation will be in charge of the project that will bring a full service super market across from the new planned Target, as well as business to the Block 36 area that fell victim to the housing crisis after a mixed residential and retail was proposed for the area earlier.

Here is a snippet from tomorrow’s story to run in the paper and online.

“We went through an extensive interview process,” said Councilman Uriel Macias, who along with Mayor Pro Tem Angel Carrillo was apart of the sub committee that conducted the interview process. “What it came down to, especially in these economic times, in the end it was financial strength and the overall where-with-all for this type of development.”

Developers were evaluated by financial capability, speed at which they could begin development, development time frames, prior experience and relationships with key retailers, and working knowledge of the planning process.

The priorities for the council were solidifying the developer was financially capable to perform the project — Lewis can self-finance the project — matching visions with the city’s Downtown North Advisory Committee, and the ability to develop Block 36 “immediately,” according to the staff report.

“(Block 36) is priority one,” Macias said. “That is one of the areas (Lewis) has to concentrate on. The city has already done everything it can to get it T’d up for development. It is basically ready for a developer to come in here and get going.”