Plans for Gallatin condo units move forward

DOWNEY - Construction plans for a 46-unit gated housing complex near the intersection of Gallatin Road and Lakewood Boulevard are being finalized this month, according to city officials.After the Downey Planning Commission approved its proposal in August, developer City Ventures has steadily moved forward with plans to build a 2.6-acre complex of solar-powered townhomes in Downey ranging from 1,464 to 2,173 square feet. The new development, which will include seven separate buildings with five to seven individual units within each, is slated for the northwest corner of the intersection on a vacant parcel surrounding Chris & Pitts BBQ restaurant. "The developer is still in the initial stages, but the city has received all entitlements and is finishing up the plan check process," said David Blumenthal, senior planner for the city of Downey. "Construction plans should be completed in the next couple of weeks, but it's too early to know when construction will begin." The 'U' shaped site, now owned by Ford Motor Credit, was once used for motor vehicle sales, repair, and storage by Downey Ford, which shut down in 2009. Although difficult to accept, Blumenthal believes some car dealerships lost following the economic downturn will never be recovered, prompting city officials to find alternative uses for such spaces. City Ventures, based in Newport Beach, champions eco-friendly, energy-efficient, affordable housing. With executives accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council, City Ventures maintains properties in Alhambra, Brea, Carlsbad, Covina, Signal Hill, and Ventura. Using advanced solar power, efficient appliances and other innovations, City Ventures develops sustainable homes to significantly reduce utility bills. According to early renderings, the Downey townhomes will be no different. Future tenants will be able to choose one of three floor plans, the largest including 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Each individual unit is three stories with an enclosed two-car garage on the first floor. The kitchen, family and living rooms are on the second floor, and bedrooms are on the third floor. Additionally, all of the units have an attached private patio or deck. However, since most of the units have limited outdoor space the developer proposed to construct a community swimming pool featuring a covered cabana, lounge area, and barbeque. The green townhomes will also sport Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, which includes the use of light-colored stucco siding, wood elements, shed roofs with red clay tiles, recessed entries, semicircular arcades, awnings, and wrought iron decorative elements. According to City Ventures' proposal, the primary entrance to the complex will open unto Gallatin Road, with only emergency and pedestrian access on Lakewood Boulevard. On Aug. 15, the planning commission granted the developer a land-use zone change, which converted the property from commercial use to multi-family residential use. The zone change allows for residential uses such as apartments and ownership units, as well as non-residential uses, such as churches and schools.

********** Published: November 1, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 29