San Diego-based Sentre has purchased Azusa Center, a two-building industrial property located at 301 and 411 N. Aerojet Drive in Azusa. Mortech Manufacturing sold the asset for $12.5 million in an off-market, sale-leaseback transaction.
Mortech occupies the 75,081-square-foot facility and, upon closing of the sale, the company executed a new 10-year lease for the entire property. CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Structured Finance Placement team arranged a $7.5 million fixed-rate, five-year loan for the acquisition.
Enrique C. Zaldivar, who has served as general manager for L.A. Sanitation and Environment for more than 13 years, has been selected to become the new chief executive officer for the city of Baldwin Park.
The city council announced officially appointing Zaldivar to the position on May 19, making him the first Mexican American CEO in city history. Zaldivar began his career with the city of Los Angeles in 1985 as an associate engineer. The city selected Zaldivar following an extensive search for a new CEO among a pool of more than 40 candidates. In April, the city was poised to hire Alhambra’s assistant city manager and former Rialto human resources and risk manager Lucy Garcia, but Garcia withdrew her offer in the 11th hour and decided to resume her job in Alhambra. Garcia did not respond to requests for comment.
Zaldivar will assume his new role in Baldwin Park on June 7. Current CEO Shannon Yauchzee is retiring after seven years.
Richmond American Homes of California, LP, has announced that Gardenside at The Preserve, a new addition to The Preserve at Chino masterplan at 7496 Botany St., Chino, is now open for sales.
Real estate agents and prospective homebuyers are invited to explore this new neighborhood. Visitors can learn more about Gardenside, which includes resort-inspired amenities and flexible floor plans. The community Sales Center will also be open daily during the same hours.
The builder plans to debut another addition to The Preserve at Chino masterplan in July, at 16459 Trailblazer Ave., Chino. Parklin at The Preserve will offer three floor plans with 3 to 5 bedrooms and up to approx. 2,465 sq. ft. of living space. Exciting options will include gourmet kitchen features, oversized walk-in showers at the owner’s bath and convenient main-floor bedrooms (per plan). Parklin will be located in the masterplan’s new neighborhood of The Preserve, where residents can enjoy a Tai Chi Garden, a dog park, an obstacle course, sports courts and more.
Those who choose to build a new home from the ground up at Gardensideor Parklin at The Preservewill have the opportunity to work with professional design consultants at a Home Gallery™ location to select colors, textures, finishes and fixtures for their new living spaces (a complimentary service).
Call (909) 417-1021 or visit RichmondAmerican.com for more information. View health and safety updates at RichmondAmerican.com/COVID-19.
The vacant Fresh ’n Easy grocery store in the Gordon Ranch Marketplace will become the home for the third Dollar Tree discount store in Chino Hills. Construction work is underway for interior remodeling. It will be one of the larger Dollar Tree stores with 15,300 square feet of space.
Dollar Tree stores are also located at the Chino Hills Marketplace on Pipeline Avenue and Chino Hills Parkway and Crossroads Marketplace at Peyton Drive and the 71 Freeway.
A Ralph’s grocery store operated as the anchor tenant from 1992 to 2006, occupying 47,263 square feet. The shopping center had no major anchor until Fresh ’n Easy came along in 2008, but it only occupied 15,300-square feet. The store closed in 2015.
A building official said the departure of Ralphs had a depressing effect on the rest of the shopping center and Fresh ’n Easy never took off.
Officials said when the Dollar Tree and Blake’s Swim School are occupied, the center will have only one 1,900-square-foot suite vacant. Blake’s Swim School was issued tenant improvements permits in September 2020.
The building passed some plumbing inspections in January of this year and pool inspections in February. Some of the newer businesses on the same side of the center (south side) are 3 Point Play Zone, a basketball training facility with play area and birthday venue, Magikid Robotics Lab, Perfect Life, Mighty Jungle Flooring, Robeks Fresh Juice & Smoothies, and Tanna Orthodontics.
Claremont officials welcomed residents back to city buildings June 1 when several buildings reopened their lobbies to the public.
The city will follow the State and County’s reopening protocols and masking guidelines.
Building now open include Claremont City Hall, the Claremont Police Department, the City Yard and the Alexander Hughes Community Center.
The Covina Transit Center serves as a San Gabriel Valley COVID-19 vaccination site. Under a partnership between the city of Covina, Foothill Transit and Albertsons, the latter of which is administering the shots, appointments are tentatively scheduled to be offered at the center every other Saturday throughout the month, depending on vaccine availability. Walk-up vaccinations will also be available.
Vaccines offered will be the second dose of Moderna for those with appointments and Johnson and Johnson for walk-ups.
The Covina Transit Center, owned and operated by Foothill Transit, opened in early 2020, just before the pandemic forced shutdowns of offices and non-essential businesses. It is served by the local Line 281, which runs from Glendora to the Puente Hills Mall, and Line 490, a Commuter Express line to downtown Los Angeles.
Residents in Glendora, Covina, West Covina and the City of Industry will be able to access the vaccination site via Line 281. Click for more details.
Motorists should prepare for lane closures through the middle of August if they regularly use Diamond Bar Boulevard for their commute as the city has begun rehabilitation work on a portion of the street.
Crews will be repair a portion of the street between Pathfinder Road and Mountain Laurel Way as part of the Diamond Bar Boulevard Rehabilitation Project. Work includes curb ramp reconstruction, replacing sidewalk panels and repaving some surfaces of the boulevard, according to a city statement.
Working hours for the project is Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closures are expected for both the north and southbound direction of the street throughout construction. At least one lane of traffic each way will remain open at all times.
Contact the city’s public works department for more information by calling (909) 839-4040 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moises Lopez was appointed as Glendora’s newest assistant city manager during the City Council’s meeting on June 8.
Lopez spent the last 15 years working for the city of Riverside where he served as an associate planner, intergovernmental relations officer and, most recently, deputy city manager. Lopez is expected to start in his new role sometime later this month or in early July, according to city officials.
His responsibilities in the position will include helping with the city’s legislative affairs, capital projects and addressing homelessness in Glendora, city officials said. Lopez will also provide assistance with the city’s 2020-2023 strategic plan.
La Puente city staff will explore what it would look like to break away from the Los Angeles County Department of Health and create its own health department.
Suggested by Councilman David Argudo, the city will look at the logistics and cost of creating its own health department, but has not yet decided to do so.
The councilman also brought up West Covina, which recently decided to break away from the county and create its own health department. That city, of about 100,000, is moving quickly and is already establishing a public health director position.
Besides Beverly Hills and West Covina, the cities of Azusa, Claremont, Diamond Bar, Lancaster, Palmdale, San Dimas, Santa Clarita, Walnut and Whittier have all expressed interest in breaking from the LA County Department of Public Health in recent months.
Most of those, however, have opted not to rush in. It would take, they acknowledge, at least another year — and likely even longer — before they could get their own health departments up and running.
The West Covina City Council, however, had moved quickly since voting in February to terminate services with the L.A. County Department of Public Health, a result of what some council members called a poor response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, it has created the outline for how the department will be structured, approved the pay scale and job description for a public health officer and health codes are modeled after those used by the county public health department.
The city council’s discussion on the issue was brief, but many said the idea of local control was appealing to council members. Even if the city doesn’t create its own health department, Argudo suggested city staff explore what it would look like to regionalize a health department with other cities.
City Manager Bob Lindsey said there are a lot of quirks and issues to work out if the city goes ahead with its own health department, but was optimistic and said the city could do it.
Two L.A. County cities, Pasadena and Long Beach, already have their own health departments. But those two cities created its health departments long before the county health department was established in 2006. At around 150,000 and 500,000, respectively, those two cities also have much greater populations than La Puente (40,000).
Mayor Tim Hepburn planned to reopen Fire Station No. 3, but that plan hit a setback when the city council shot down his proposal to use $1.5 million from the city’s reserves to help fund the facility.
The money would have been used to hire more personnel for the department, who would then operate out of the station. Council members nixed Hepburn’s proposal, saying the city should draw on a more sustainable source of funding.
A majority of the council believes that reserve funds would best be used to help the city weather unexpected emergencies, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Council members nevertheless outlined several steps to reopen the station and expand the fire department.
One step is to conduct a study on the fire department to see how resources are currently used by the agency and to determine if any need to be reallocated or streamlined.
A majority of the service calls the LVFD received were for medical emergencies, according to Councilman Rick Crosby. Four firefighters left the La Verne Fire Department in the weeks following the City Council’s decision to forgo the mayor’s plan, and more departures are possible, according to union officials. The department’s losses include the resignations of two firefighter/paramedics, both of whom were offered positions with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
City officials will also continue their search for a permanent fire chief who would provide stability for an agency that has seen five interim chiefs in the last three years. Larry Waterhouse is the current interim chief for the department.
Fire Station No. 3 was closed more than a year ago because of a staff shortage that plagued the La Verne Fire Department. The shortage was fueled in part by a city budget crunch that was exacerbated by the pandemic.
The City of Ontario announced that it is moving forward with a citywide infrastructure renewal program that improves safety, efficiency and connectivity all while saving $75 million in utility and operating costs over the life of the new equipment. Aptly named “Smart Ontario,” this initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10,000 tons annually. This is equivalent to powering 1,322 Ontario homes, removing 1,850 cars from the road and preserving more than 263,000 trees from deforestation each year.
The initiative began in January 2019 when the city sought a building technologies and energy services provider to perform an energy audit of its infrastructure. Ontario’s City Council hoped to find ways to save resources that were being used to repair and operate failing, antiquated equipment. In May 2019, the city selected Climatec for the job, an energy services provider qualified by the Department of Energy and accredited by the National Association of Energy Service Companies.
During the facility audit, Climatec’s team uncovered a number of areas where obsolete equipment could be replaced, and renewable energy systems could be installed to save the city millions of dollars in operational costs. Once city staff verified Climatec’s recommendations, the next step became addressing these opportunities to preserve taxpayer dollars.
Protecting the health and safety of the community at large and setting Ontario on the path to becoming a smart city are added benefits.
To fund the program, Ontario plans to leverage funds from several sources, including the California Energy Commission Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA), Southern California Edison utility rebates, California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and a tax-exempt municipal lease at historically low interest rates. This creative funding approach allows the city to make significant upgrades to its old infrastructure and to implement sustainability initiatives without tapping into capital or general fund dollars.
In July 2020, the Ontario City Council approved improvements that included LED streetlight conversions equipped with smart streetlight dimming controls; new high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation equipment and temperature controls; interior and exterior LED lighting throughout buildings and parks; solar panel structures at the Convention Center, Toyota Arena and City Hall Annex; solar thermal systems at Westwind and Dorothy Quesada swim centers, and battery storage systems for backup power at critical sites.
Of the $75 million in program savings, an estimated $56 million is from operating savings thanks to greater efficiency and $19 million is from avoided capital expenses that would otherwise be spent on repairing critical infrastructure that this program replaces. The entire program will cost approximately $35 million.
Construction is well underway with completion expected by Summer 2022.
After 100 years of September openings, the LA County Fair will move to May in 2022 to take advantage of cooler spring temperatures.
The Centennial Celebration of the LA County Fair will take place from May 5 to May 30 2022, swapping out September’s average high of 88 degrees for the May average of 78 degrees. The move also gives the fair a chance to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and a BBQ summer kick-off on Memorial Day weekend.
Though the large-scale fair was canceled this year due to the pandemic, fair officials are planning to host a Fair Food event in late September—a swan song to the season in which the fair played for nearly 100 years.
The cancelation of the fair this year afforded organizers the opportunity to consider options for how the event should move forward for its next 100 years. During the last few Septembers, the fair experienced triple-digit heat that negatively impacted fairgoers, vendors and partners.
Guests can expect to experience the fair of the past, present and future as the 2022 LA County Fair celebrates the 100th anniversary of the very first fair held in 1922 with the theme “Back to Our Roots.” From remembering the fair’s early days of tent expositions to the introduction of mid-century inventions like the Frisbee to the home of the future, the 2022 fair will embody nostalgia, warmth and good old-fashioned fun, organizers said.
Texas de Brazil has opened in Rancho Cucamonga, at 12369 Foothills Blvd., more famously known as Route 66.
Texas de Brazil’s family-owned churrascarias are renowned for their time-honored tradition of churrasco-style cooking combined with generous southern hospitality.
The new restaurant features soaring ceilings with unique light fixtures and an extravagant salad area made of white marble. Guests can enjoy a drink in the intimate lounge area or browse for their favorite wines in the elegant wine cellar. The restaurant features one exclusively private dining room decorated with elegant furnishings and complete with a stunning wood table that accommodates up to 14 guests. Patio dining is also available for regular seating and for private events.
SOUTH EL MONTE
Century Communities, Inc. announced it’s now selling at Echo, the company’s new gated community in South El Monte offering two-story townhomes from the low $700s. Echo also features close proximity to downtown LA via I-10 and Highway 60, plus access to a variety of options for local shopping, dining and outdoor recreation—including Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and Legg Lake. Boasting stunning finishes and contemporary open-concept layouts, each townhome includes desirable features like quartz kitchen countertops, subway tile backsplash, luxury vinyl plank flooring, 9-foot ceilings and more.
Echo offers: 3 to 4 bedrooms and a loft, 2.5 bathrooms and 1,778 square feet, 2-bay attached garage; community amenities include a BBQ area and picnic tables. Included is the Century Home Connect smart home package. To learn more visit www.centurycommunities.com.
City officials expect to spend more than $25.7 million over the next fiscal year but take in only $25.4 million in revenue, according to a staff report.
The City Council adopted the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year during its meeting June 12. Despite the appearance of a deficit, officials said in the report the annual budget is a “roll over.”
The city will also have $3.6 million in reserves on hand as well as an unspecified amount of funds from the American Rescue Plan to put toward expenses.
A summary included in the staff report shows that $6.4 million will go toward personnel costs, $13.3 million toward operations and around $3 million toward capital projects. The city will also transfer around $2.5 million out of the budget, according to the summary.
After months of debate, the West Covina City Council voted 3-1 to establish its own health sector. Councilmember Brian Tabatabai voted against the proposal. Councilmember Dario Castellanos was absent.
The director of public health, who heads the city’s health department, will be hired by West Covina to provide services, conduct tests and issue specific permits to Transtech. Transtech is also responsible for paying the director of health, said mayor David Carmany.
Carmany said he hopes Dr. Basil Vasantachart, who has helped create the department as a city adviser, will be hired to run it within a month.
The city’s personnel committee approved and submitted a health bureau director’s salary range approved by the city council in April. Health director salaries ranged from $ 154,368 to $ 187,644 annually, but Transtech can pay health directors what it deems appropriate. Public health officials will also assist in the establishment of the city’s public health department. Mayor Letty Lopez-Viado previously stated that Vassantachart offered to take up the position for free, but that was not permitted by law.
With seven functions approved by the city council, the health department does the following:
1. Manage programs for disease management and prevention, including providing educational programs for maternal and child health, public health and general health.
2. Manage environmental hygiene and hygiene services and programs.
3. Manages and enforces public health and all laws, ordinances and regulations dealing with public health.
4. Cooperate with other enforcement agencies in the management and enforcement of public health laws and regulations.
5. Maintain vital statistics.
6. Cooperate with public and private agencies to address the health needs of the city’s residents.And
7. Perform other related duties required by law, ordinance, or directed by city officials.
The ordinance also included the duties of the director of health.
City officials have not yet announced the department’s annual budget and the amount of personnel needed to run the health department, although many of the services will be outsourced. The city expects to pay the department with a combination of fees and grants.
Transtech, a consulting firm and service provider, and Constant Associates, a division of Transtech, provide testing, data collection, staffing, and engineering services to the health sector. The initial cost of the Transtech contract is $ 98,190 and will be paid through funding from the American Rescue Plan, a federal-funded bailout package. The contract is one year and there are two one-year options.
Transtech is expected to staff the city’s health department to provide health and safety services and will be funded through fees and services collected through inspections and issuance of permits.
When asked if using federal bailouts to establish a health sector was the proper use of those funds, state health officials said in an email statement: “The state’s role is to evaluate applications that West Covina is expected to become a local health jurisdiction (LHJ). The city hasn’t submitted an application yet, so it’s too early to comment on how West Covina intends to cover the cost of launching the plan.”
The medical services currently provided by the county are mainly paid by property tax from the city of West Covina. The city will not be able to use those funds. They continue to go to the county even after they no longer provide public health missions to the city’s inhabitants.
The city council resolved in February to end service with the Los Angeles County Public Health Department and began moving towards the establishment of its own department. Since terminating service with the county, the council has approved the creation of a health director position and has contracted with the company to provide health and testing services.
At the peak of the pandemic, city officials complained about the closure of businesses and restaurants, and other measures aimed at stopping the coronavirus flow. Several other cities in the county are considering this move, as stated previously in this post.
Members of city officials met with representatives of the state’s public health service last week. The city must present a comprehensive proposal for 12 components that require state approval before the new department goes into operation. It is the first time in more than 70 years that the city has attempted to establish an independent health sector. Only three cities in California (Long Beach, Pasadena and Berkeley) have municipal health departments.
Hours before the council’s vote, a group of residents opposed to the Department of Health submitted an initiative to the city’s clerk’s office to suspend its creation. The city will review the initiative, give it a title, and return it within 15 days. Within 180 days of return, the group will collect at least 6,300 signatures to complete the ballot in November.
The city council must present a plan to establish and maintain a health department in the state for approval until July 1. Luna said his group wanted to see a long-term plan to fund the health sector from the city before submitting the plan to the state for approval.
The ordinance approved by the city council included a letter from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department signed by County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. In the letter, the Department of Health said it was unaware of plans and coordination with the city for such dramatic changes.
The county’s public health department will work with West Covina to transfer all county obligations to local organizations, the letter said. If the state approves the plan, it is still unknown when it will happen.
–Compiled by Bill Ruh, Director of Government Affairs