More on Tierra Luna

Dear Editor:[Last week's] Downey Patriot contained a few letters to the editor from citizens raging against the proposed Tierra Luna project and the snake-oil salespeople who pose as our City Council members. I imagine a lot of their outbursts were in response to Councilman Mario Guerra's article wherein he identified the various retailers the city would like to see as occupants in the Tierra project. The list was all-inclusive, that's for certain, and I took it as a general invitation to retailers to take a look at the project and see if it fits their business model. If it does, Guerra's subtext was "Let's talk." While a lot of the outraged letters shared the view that the Tierra Luna project will be bad for Downey, none of them seemed at all aware that one of the basic issues driving the Tierra project is that Downey is losing sales tax dollars to malls and businesses outside of the city. I seem to remember Guerra's article mentioning this, but maybe he was too subtle. There are two Target stores on Firestone Boulevard, both easily accessible to Downey shoppers. Neither Target is within Downey so if Downey shoppers go to either Target, those sales tax dollars are lost. Just examining the list of proposed retailers and restaurants should tell you that what the City Council is trying to do is to keep those sales tax dollars within Downey to benefit the citizens of Downey. Instead of our shoppers going to Lakewood, for example, they'll go to Tierra Luna. What's so hard to understand about that? -- Muriel Schuerman, Downey

Dear Editor: As stated in other articles I have written and posted in this paper, I have lived in the same house in this city since 1977 and observed the many changes this city has undergone. My opinion as stated before, the majority of these changes have not been for the better. Now comes along the Tierra Luna project. Something must happen to the logic of those elected to the council once they take office. Many years ago and as strange as it may seem, where the old courthouses used to stand, the council members said it was in the best interest of the city to sell the property to the owners of the Krikorian Theaters for $1 with the theory the city would make up the loss in property value by the taxes that would be generated by the incoming revenue of the theater. What a deal! Needless to say, this outraged our residents and that portion of the deal never happened. As time passed, the council at the time was all excited over building the Downey Landing and having a Downey movie studio. They predicted at the time, the Downey Studios would create approximately $5 million a year in new revenue. The council informed the public the need for all of this was necessary and it happened. As time passed, the council said the need to renovate the downtown area was very important to the future of this city and so work began and is still in progress. The bottom fell out from the studio deal and the council was in a rush to get this property back in service and to generate revenue. The council, in their forward thinking, began courting Tesla Motors and did just about everything except giving them the kitchen sink. I don't suspect they ever thought they were being played by Tesla in order to get Toyota to work with them at Tesla. So now the council has plans of grandeur for a Tierra Luna project to replace the studio project. Just for those keeping score, currently we have the downtown project under construction; the city still has Stonewood Mall, we still have the Downey Landing, and for some unknown reason, the council believes this city has the potential to support yet one more mall. My backward and old age thinking is that if this city could not support two home improvement centers, why in the world would this council think this city could support another mall? By the way, this council says this new construction when completed could produce approximately $4.2 million in additional revenue per year. The projected $5 million in expected revenue per year Downey Studios never happened but this Tierra Luna will produce the anticipated revenue the movie studio was supposed to create. As you know eating cotton candy is always so good but you have to remember it is only made with sugar and a lot of hot air. This might be a good time for council members to sit back, take a deep breath and reconsider before entering into another boondoggle. -- David Abney, Downey

Dear Editor: When I first read about the Tierra Luna project in The Downey Patriot, I was glad to read that a Barnes & Noble may be possible. But the name "Tierra Luna" has got to go! We should have a contest for a better name, and then vote on it. How about something in English? This is America, right? -- Mike Sandoval, Downey

********** Published: February 2, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 42