Food court moves closer to reality

DOWNEY - After months of anticipation, the City Council may soon approve a developing contract with Westland Industries, who is seeking to transform a 1.15-acre parcel at the southwest corner of Firestone Boulevard and Downey Avenue into a 26,000-square-foot food court and retail center.On April 7, the Planning Commission recommended the agreement for approval by the Council who will vote on the item on Tuesday. The proposed project, known as Downey Gateway, will extend across Firestone Boulevard south to Nance Street between Downey Avenue to La Reina Avenue. Slated to become the grand entrance to the downtown, the project will utilize the entire 50,300-square-foot lot, where four buildings totaling 26,232 square feet will be constructed for a food court and retail center that will accommodate 13 tenants. Once completed, the four structures will surround a central plaza where most of the restaurants and stores will open. Presently, Gourmet Café and two smaller buildings occupy the site. Plans call for the smaller structures to be remodeled and for the demolition of Gourmet Café, which will be replaced with two new buildings for a total of four structures. According to the staff report, Westland's plans also call for the reconstruction of Nance Street between Downey and La Reina Avenues. In addition to added parking, Nance Street will also receive a new eight-inch water main between existing lines on Downey Avenue and Paramount Boulevard. As a part of the contract, the city will reimburse Westland Industries, a real estate management group based in Long Beach, nearly $150,000 for the additions to Nance Street and another $140,000 for the water line. If approved by the Council, the company must then be required to provide the Planning Commission with a site plan, including building and landscape designs, which must be approved.

********** Published: April 23, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 1