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Interference of a Contractual Relationship? Under Pressure, Developer Withdraws Artesia Live II Project


Artist’s rendering of Artesia Live II at 186th and Gridley across from Los Cerritos Center. 

 

BY BRIAN HEWS
Thursday, May 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Artesia Ca. ~ Welcome to Artesia, now go home.

Opponents of the Artesia Live II project, which included some Artesia residents and the city of Cerritos, will be happy to hear about a letter the city of Artesia recently received.

The project, a mixed-use condominium development located at 186thand Gridley, will be abandoned.

The project that would have generated several hundred jobs, brought in millions to the cash strapped city of Artesia, and created substantially more foot traffic to the Los Cerritos Center Mall, was withdrawn by the developer Cornerstone Artesia Development, LLC.

City management received a letter this past Wednesday, May 9 from Cornerstone representative Betsy Lee that said “we are very sorry to inform the City that we are going to withdraw the Artesia Live II project, thank you for your attention to this notice.

The city has called a special meeting today at 3 PM where City Council will “consider” the withdrawal.

It is unknown at this point why Cornerstone withdrew, but the efforts of a small group of Artesia residents along with a well-timed voluminous CEQA lawsuit filed by Artesia’s neighbor, the city of Cerritos, likely spurred the departure.

And Artesians could be feeling the effects of this decision for years to come.

Cornerstone would have paid a massive $3 million City Development Fee along with investing $1.5 million to upgrade Artesia’s Public Utility System.

Ongoing sales tax revenue to the City was estimated to be over $500,000 annually and Cornerstone was committed to making a one-time donation of $500,000 to the ABCUSD.

Finally, any future development and investment will be stymied given the actions of the residents and in particular the city of Cerritos, knowing the City is not afraid to use their massive legal resources, to fight projects.

The timing of the withdrawal is particularly bad with the recent approval of funding for the West Santa Ana Transit Corridor light rail project that will run from Artesia to downtown Los Angeles.

Other area cities on the WSAB route, such as Bellflower, are already taking advantage of the light rail project, sending out bids for Transit Oriented Developments built near the light rail stop, and recently breaking ground on an urban eatery project called SteelCraft.

The Artesia Live II project was only 75 feet tall, but that was enough for some vocal residents, most whom did not live near the project.

The seven-story mixed-use building would have consisted of 130 high-end residential condominiums with almost 30,000 square feet of commercial and restaurant space.

Cornerstone took the unusual step of consulting with many long-time local residents to make sure the look and feel of the development was consistent with the City’s history.

The company also consulted with many engineering companies conducting traffic, parking, and noise studies; air quality and greenhouse gas studies; and a “cultural paleontological resource study,” just in case there were artifacts under the surface; none were found.

The company even paid to ascertain what effect the building would have on the surrounding areas, commonly known as a “shade and shadow study.”

But that was not enough for certain Artesia residents who wanted nothing to do with the project, with even a few Cerritos residents voicing their disproval.

Their main concern was the height of the building and parking, both of which were addressed at length in Cornerstone’s study.

Artesia Councilman Miguel Canales told HMG-CN, “I regret learning that Cornerstone Development made a decision to withdraw Artesia Live 2. I understand their reasoning. I do not agree with the lawsuit from the neighboring city. The lawsuit simply sets the wrong precedent. I have friends in that city, and I truly believe we could have sat down and worked together to resolve their concerns. I wish Cornerstone good luck. They have been a fantastic partner. The loss of this project is a loss for the very people that have signed petitions to prohibit this kind of project. It amazes me how people signing the petition are great at saying “no” but do not create high impact ideas that can sustain city budgets. Mixed developments are the future, and a small city like Artesia will continue to struggle providing those public services needed by our community if we do not continue to evolve with the changing times in the city planning world.”

Cornerstone will continue with Artesia Live, a $45 million-dollar 7-story residential and commercial building that will encompass 250,000-square-feet.

The urban lifestyle complex on Pioneer Boulevard will bring in estimated $500,000 annually to the City.

The project includes a Marriot Hotel that will generate 550 jobs, while creating 600 jobs during construction.

The development is the first of its kind in the City and will consist of the hotel, high-end condominiums, boutique shops, restaurants, and a two-level subterranean parking structure.

That project, unlike Artesia Live II, was never called into question.

Welcome to Artesia.

 

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Well well well, there are (4) new mega size apartment complexes off of Bloomfield, two in Cerritos, plus two in East Lakewood and they all have high vacancy rates. State of California has the new mandatory granny flat rule, plus the new mandatory low low income housing and homeless shelters which is mandatory for all cities to build, this will influence developers throughout the state. In addition, Juliet housing complex got killed in the city of Cerritos Running around the city HOA gossips, that the former Toys R Us pad may be home to a new housing complex. City of… Read more »