Tierra Lunacy

Dear Editor:
I join Doris Hannon in questioning the reasoning behind the Tierra Luna(cy) development, also with the point as to what will happen to the Downtown Plan while everyone’s attention is diverted to the new project? (Letters to the Editor, 12/19/12)
Downtown has been an ongoing project since the mid-sixties when the street was widened to four lanes, diagonal parking was replaced with parallel, and the shop-owner’s had to give up a good chunk of their property to the city to allow all of the above; and it does not seem to have gotten any better in all that time and the ministrations of countless urban-planners who have used it as a way-station on their way to bigger and better positions in other communities.
Will Downtown finally be written off as the city will be forced to help the revitalization of Stonewood after it has had its vitality drained by Downey Landing?
And then, will it be Downey Landing’s turn when Tierra Luna(cy) cannibalizes the shoppers from it?
When will it stop, and who’s getting the profit from all of this?
Perhaps it is time for the City Fathers to scale back the size and scope of the city’s mission and staff to match the existing revenues and stop ever newer schemes to jigger sales-tax receipts. The manufacturing base that the city once had is gone, and most likely will never be seen again; and the car dealerships that we once enjoyed – and provided the city with a large sales tax source - are also obviously gone as surrounding areas got a jump-start on the auto-mall craze, leaving Downey in the dust. Plus, we just lost a long-time retailer in All American Home Center, so that land will be vacant, joining the space once occupied by Pace and the neighboring Cadillac/Chevrolet dealership on the list of fallow retail sites that no longer provide the city with employment and sales tax revenue.
If the city demonstrated a “business friendly” atmosphere, manufacturers and retailers would be happy to locate here and the city would not have to strain so hard to acquire tenants for these vacant sites.
--Drew Kelley,

Dear Editor:
What business throws out paying customers and then pays other customers to take their place? Example: Downey has two Hallmark stores that are struggling to stay in business. Yet the city suggests a Hallmark store might go into Tierra Luna Marketplace.
No disrespect, but do the "people in charge" understand adding one business to our city that closes down two is not progress?
Places I miss: Sambi's, Beach's Market, Alin's Party, Regency (some might be too young to remember that fiasco). Remember how our city fathers fought for Krikorian Theaters? Can that survive their new planned theater at Tierra Luna?
Didn't someone in charge say they couldn't even get Trader Joe's to come here because of our demographics? Trader Joe's can't be enticed but Nordstrom can? If these people in charge want to dream I wish they'd do it on their dime and not on ours.
Allow the people of this great city to offer suggestions and actually listen to how they'd improve their city, not the pockets of a few. I have a great idea and it's free: a sports complex which could be rented out for soccer and baseball tournaments, tennis matches, ball fields. People will pay to play and it will bring in people to our restaurants, hotels, motels. The benefits go on and on.
By the way, I'm a senior citizen so I'm not looking out for my good but the city's.
-- Loretta Scott,

Dear Editor:
What a surprise! The city council OK's the Tierra Luna project against all sane objections.
Filled with visions of grandeur, the council have set out to sell their snake oil and hope that the citizens do not consider the facts and agree with this flawed project. They expect that the citizens should just trust in their judgment and believe that this snake oil they are selling is the cure.
Many of those in the council speak about the city's business friendly attitude and the economic growth that has responded to this attitude. The fact remains that the city is not in an economic growth period but is only moving laterally. The city loses two markets (Vons and Beach's) and is set to be replaced with two lesser ones. A liquor store is lost and is replaced by a 7-Eleven. Recently the city lost two restaurants and is set to be replaced by another two restaurants. It loses All American but gains two "hookah lounges".
Now we have been asked to believe that the Tierra Luna project is projected to create 3300 jobs and bring in $4.2 million in tax revenue. We will just have to wait until election time to see if those numbers are true.
To make this snake oil more palatable, the city floated a trial balloon to check if we are ready to drink their Kool-Aid. In the Jan 12 issue of The Downey Patriot, a list of retailers, restaurants and other retail outlets were printed to make the oil go down easier. They obviously thought that the Downey citizens are oblivious to the present economic conditions and would not see through this charade.
Who knows how long the city council had these plans on the burner and truth be told, everyone knows it was a done deal from the beginning. In their blind ambition they have overlooked basic business practices. It is a fact that all companies look at a variety of things before they commit. Before investing they look at the surrounding areas and how long it will take to recover their investment and become profitable. They consider the ethnic makeup, average wage, home value and safety of the surrounding and immediate area.
Furthermore is there anyone in their right mind who believes that there will be a time when a Ritz Carlton hotel, a Nordstroms department store, a Ruth Chris steakhouse and an Ann Taylor clothing store would ever consider ever being in the same vicinity as a WalMart? What are they thinking? Yet we are expected to fall for this far-fetched tale. They just keep pushing the snake oil, and want us to hold our noses and drink.
The facts remain that this fiasco will most likely end up being a glorified strip mall with a number of empty units, the same as can be found in the Downey Landing complex.
I have read all the editorials in the Patriot and agree with the majority and feel their pain. They are mostly longtime residents who are vested in the welfare of the city and I join with them in not drinking the snake oil cure- all medicine that the council is selling.
--Ed Romero,

Dear Editor:
Please, please no more shops in Downey. Tierra Luna would be in direct competition with the Downey Landing and there are still vacancies there. We have not even finished Downtown Downey.
Wake up City Council, more shops may bring revenue but can’t you see this recklessness is turning Downey into a third-rated city? Even Trader Joe’s felt they were too upscale for us. Doesn’t that tell you something?
How about building a technical school where the young who are not academically inclinced could learn a useful trade? A university or junior college would also be good uses for that valuable piece of land and would bring some dignity back to our once beautiful city.
Anything would be preferable to more shops!
-- Nora Szechy,

Published: January 26, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 41