Herald American

Norwalk council approves $40 million development

NORWALK — Plans are underway for a $40 million development on about 12 acres on the northwest corner of Imperial Highway and Bloomfield Avenue featuring several restaurants, retail shops and a 24- hour L.A. Fitness gym plus an entertainment area with a raised platform and seating.

The City Council approved the plan April 18 that was presented by Joe A. Leyva of Global Pacific Imperial after a public hearing. Councilwoman Jennifer Perez recused herself as she lives near the site.

Approval included conditional use permits to operate retail stores and restaurants on the property, zoned for office use, dividing the site into two sections and construction of two drive-through restaurants.

Kurt Anderson, director of community development, said the eastern-most 5.21 acres is vacant while the 7.24-acre western parcel contains a six-story office building. The building will remain for office use and Levya said he would move his office from Walnut to the Norwalk site.

In a report to the council, Senior Planner Jessica Serrano said the plan includes:

• A 4,560-square-foot Chick-fil-A restaurant with drive through and a 300-square-foot outdoor eating area.

• A 4,640-square-foot Panera Bread restaurant with drive through and a 300-square-foot outdoor eating area.

• A 37,000-square-foot LA Fitness gym.

• A 2,290-square-foot sit-down restaurant.

• Retail shops totaling 2,290 square feet.

• And an outdoor seating area of 2,000 square feet around a raised platform for entertainers.

Leyva told the council that offering entertainment was an effort to attract shoppers.

The development will have 864 parking spaces.

Leyva noted that the five acres are the only undeveloped space in the area. He predicted the center would attract customers from throughout the area as well as serve tenants in the six-story office structure and office buildings on the south side of Imperial, including the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters offices.

One woman supported the project as a benefit to the city. No one opposed it at the public hearing.

In other action April 18, the council:

• Gave formal approval to a furnished mobile snack bar at Corvallis Middle School, completed by M.C. Alyea Construction of Riverside at a cost of $218,89. Deputy City Manager Gary DiCorpo said work began in October 2015, and included the removal of the existing snack bar in a former cargo container, construction of the custom-built facility including lighting, plumbing with an indoor restroom for those working in the structure, kitchen facilities with water and gas services, plus cabinets.

• Gave final approval to a $1 million project to demolish the former senior citizens center at the corner of San Antonio Drive and Foster Road and two single-family homes to the south. City Manager Mike Egan said an architect has been hired to design a building to house an education and career center. The center will be aimed at helping businesses, entrepreneurs and those seeking higher education. Representatives from Cerritos College, the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, the federally sponsored Southeast Workforce Board offering job training and social services and several social service agencies including one to help veterans are expected to staff the facility. No construction date has been set, Egan said.