Olson Co. comes to town

A few graphs from a story running in tomorrow’s paper:

BALDWIN PARK — Eight months after a massive revitalization project fell through the cracks, city officials are hoping a new developer can salvage their dreams for a downtown urban village.

The city is in preliminary negotiations with Seal Beach-based The Olson Co. for a 13- to 14-acre project around the site of the old Albertsons grocery store on Ramona Boulevard, Baldwin Park’s Chief Executive Officer Vijay Singhal said.

If built, the project would be drastically smaller than a proposal from developer Bob Bisno. His plan, put forth last year, involved a 109-acre, multimillion-dollar revamp of the city’s downtown.

If built, officials said they would want the Baldwin Park project to complement a separate $7 million proposal to build a new parking structure at the city’s Metrolink station.
That project is being funded through a grant.

The project already seems to be going in the direction of the former Bisno proposal — city officials are eager to get things off the ground, and a group of opponents are eager to put the flames out.

Arguments are still the same: City – “We want development.”  // Opponents – “This isn’t New York.”

Of course this project, should it be built, would be significantly smaller than the Bisno proposal, but would still include that urban village feel.

City officials are in the middle of drawing up an exclusive negotiating contract. It’s expected to come before the council in the next few weeks.