The City Council voted to approve an exclusive negotiating agreement with MW Investment Group for city-owned property at 600-622 N. San Gabriel Ave., just south of Foothill Boulevard, a fourth mixed-use development in the works for the downtown area.
Details are few for the latest project, because it’s in the very earliest stages, but Matt Waken, managing member of MW Investment group, said there’s interest from a major hotel brand.
The agreement will allow both parties to establish negotiating parameters for the site, according to a city staff report. Once enacted, the exclusive negotiating agreement will last for 180 days with the ability to extend it twice for 90 days.
Waken said his group would be trying to acquire other properties north of there, to create a contiguous parcel that reaches the major street.
Development in downtown Azusa has been a hot topic in the city recently. Uncertainty has clouded The Orchard, a planned 31,566-square-foot combined retail and residential development that is slated to include a four-screen Laemmle Theatre, shops and 163 apartments at the southeast corner of Azusa Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.
Another mixed-use development, The Avenue, has been approved for 800 N. Azusa Ave. near the Azusa Downtown Metro Gold Line Station. A third mixed-use development, The Citrus View, is expected for 525 N. Azusa Ave., but it has not received approval yet and ownership has extended its lease with the Azusa Post Office to allow its continued operation.
To capitalize on the development in the area, the city is looking to create a special financing district that would allow Azusa to claim more of the property taxes landowners already pay to the city to use on infrastructure improvements.
Jollibee Foods Corporation, parent company for the popular Filipino fast food chain Jollibee, is establishing its North American headquarters in West Covina.
In addition to Jollibee, the corporation owns Smashburger, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and exclusive franchise rights for Burger King and Dunkin in Asia, among other brands.
The corporation is currently running its North American operations out of an office in the City of Industry, but with plans in place for massive expansions for both Jollibee and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, it’s looking to operate out of 28,000 square feet in the 13-story building at 100 N. Barranca St.
As part of making West Covina its home, Jollibee also intends to add two additional locations within the city, including one in Eastland Center near the headquarters.
That building, described as a landmark in West Covina by several Planning Commissioners, used to bear Wells Fargo signage on both its east and west-facing sides. That signage is gone, but the west-facing side will soon bear the Jollibee name as well as its iconic bee logo with commission approval.
Chino City Councilman Paul Rodriguez, who was appointed to the council in July 2017 and elected last November, has announced he will seek re-election in November 2020.
Rodriguez serves as the city’s representative on the Chaffey College Community Center Oversight Committee, as well as liaison to the League of California Cities and San Bernardino County Solid Waste Advisory Task Force. He is also on the Southern California Association of Governments General Assembly, where he was appointed to the Community, Economic and Human Development subcommittee as well as the Emerging Technologies and Regional Housing Needs Assessment committees.
In 2005, he earned his doctorate in educational leadership. A resident of Chino for more than 67 years, he worked as a teacher and later a counselor for the Chino Valley Unified School District from 1985 to 2000. He later worked for several other school districts in administrative and counseling positions. He is now retired.
In other news, the city council voted unanimously to extend the contract of City Manager Matt Ballantyne by a year to July 31, 2024. Ballantyne was hired by the city in 2012, beating out 72 applicants to replace former City Manager Pat Glover when he retired.
Ballantyne was previously the city manager for San Marino. He has two master’s degrees, in public administration and regional planning, and a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from UCLA.
This is the fifth extension for Mr. Ballantyne’s contract with the city. His base salary is $275,652 a year and his annual benefits package is $113,364.
An approximately $50 million project that will connect Pine Avenue from the 71 Freeway to Euclid Avenue and has been in the works for more than a decade is garnering attention because of its potential impact on southern Chino Hills.
As part of the extension project, a new road will be built connecting Pine Avenue west from El Prado Road to the 71 Freeway in Chino Hills. The new extension of Pine Avenue will include the construction of a 500-foot long bridge over the Chino Creek and Cypress Channel. Construction could begin by 2022.
Some Chino Hills residents are concerned that the new Pine Avenue will push more traffic onto the already congested 71 Freeway and Butterfield Ranch Road. They are also concerned that Riverside County residents will circumvent the 91 Freeway and take side streets to the 71 Freeway, dumping that traffic into Chino Hills and onto Carbon Canyon Road.
The currently unused intersection of Pine with Pomona Rincon Road/Fairfield Ranch Road would also be constructed as part of the work effort. The existing Pine Avenue from El Prado Road east to Euclid Avenue will be widened.
The city of Chino Hills issued a support letter to the City of Chino, which is the lead agency, stating that the connection is important because of the significant commercial, industrial and residential growth in this juncture.
Chino Hills has identified $4.2 million in its fiscal year 2023-24 capital improvement program from development impact fees and Measure I funding, said City Manager Ben Montgomery.
Most of the comments were against the new road but some supported it, stating that it will alleviate traffic because of the boom in Eastvale, Ontario and Chino that will worsen Soquel Canyon Parkway and Butterfield Ranch Road if Pine is not extended.
The project could yield between 10,000 and 12,000 new homes, that will be built in The Preserve and College Park in Chino, and up to 50,000 homes will be built in Ontario, north of Merrill Avenue.
KeyBank Real Estate Capital has secured $39 million in Fannie Mae Green financing for San Diego-based MG Properties Group. The borrower will use the loan to refinance Monte Vista Apartment Homes in La Verne.
Built in 1972 and renovated in 2018, the 207-unit community comprises 18 two-story apartment buildings on 14 acres. Since 2016, MG Properties has spent more than $6 million on exterior renovations and interiors renovations for 151 units. MG plans to finish renovations, which will cost approximately $1 million, to the remaining 56 units.
Peter Kurzeka of KeyBank Real Estate Capital’s Commercial Mortgage Group arranged the financing.
Travelers can no longer call an Uber ride to or from Ontario International Airport. Uber first announced its plan to end services at the hub in August, a month after the airport raised operational fees for ride-hailing companies from $3 to $4 for each drop-off or pickup.
The Inland Empire hub said it decided on the increase after a nearly two-year assessment that compared ride-hailing prices at airports across Southern California.
Ontario airport is located about 56 miles east of the Los Angeles International Airport and served a daily average of 14,000 passengers in 2018.
Uber had hoped to have a “meaningful dialogue” with airport officials before terminating its services on Sept. 13. According to the company, the new fee is the highest among similarly sized airports in the U.S.
Lyft, which began operating at the facility at the same time as Uber in July 2017, has not announced any plans to cut its relationship with Ontario airport.
The end of Uber’s operations at the hub comes as California lawmakers move to have ride-share companies transition tens of thousands of its drivers from contractors to full-time employees.
National Community Renaissance (National CORE) and the city of Rancho Cucamonga broke ground and began construction for Day Creek Villas, a $47.2 million, 140-apartment affordable housing property for people 62 and older. The property is financed through a hybrid 4 percent/9 percent low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) structure.
It’s the ninth National CORE affordable housing property in Rancho Cucamonga and the first hybrid transaction in the nonprofit’s history. The result is a large community for seniors earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.
Rancho Cucamonga has been National CORE’s headquarters for two decades. The hybrid structure was key to making the deal happen, but it wasn’t easy.
Lesley Edwards, vice president of project development at National CORE, said the developer chose to go with a hybrid structure because it improved the chances to land an allocation of very competitive 9 percent LIHTCs from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee in 2018.
The result is a three-story building, with the first two floors financed by 9 percent LIHTC equity and the third floor financed with 4 percent LIHTC equity.
National CORE operates as the general contractor, thus providing the accounting and ensuring the two contracts stay separate.
The 140 apartments include 131 one-bedroom homes, eight two-bedroom homes and a manager’s unit. The community is within walking distance of the Day Creek Marketplace and the Estate Winery Marketplace, which means seniors have access to ample amenities.
The development includes a swimming pool, outdoor lounges and fireplaces, and a community center. National CORE’s resident services provider, the Hope through Housing Foundation, will support senior residents with a variety of program and services.
Chase was the sole LIHTC equity investor for Hudson, with more than $25 million in tax credit equity invested. Chase also provided almost $28 million in construction financing on both projects.
Taiwan-based HCT Logistics Co. LTD acquired a suburban office building in San Dimas from 955 Overland Venture, LLC, for $19.9 million in cash. Located at 955 Overland Court, the multi-tenant building totals 87,210 square feet and was 100% leased at the time of sale, including to the County of Los Angeles, United Nurses of California and Med-Legal.
The two-story property is located near the 210 and 57 freeways, and sits in proximity to a variety of amenities. CBRE’s Mark Shaffer, Anthony DeLorenzo, Gary Stache, Doug
Mack, Mark Perry and Carlene O’Neil represented the seller.
The Planning Commission approved plans and certified an environmental study for a proposed 490,000-square-foot expansion and modernization at Queen of the Valley hospital in West Covina. As reported in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the long-term expansion would increase the hospital’s size by almost 50%. Plans will go before the City Council at a future meeting for final approval.
The hospital currently sits at one million square feet on 28.8 acres—including 2.8 acres of what used to be Sunset Field—and both new and renovated buildings would bring the campus’ total size to 1.58 million square feet.
The environmental study found increased traffic from the larger patient load the expanded hospital would generate and increased greenhouse gasses produced as a result of them driving to the hospital.
–Compiled by CVAR Director of Government Affairs Bill Ruh