Heavy construction begins on Promenade shopping center

DOWNEY - Hard hats in place and shovels in hand, city officials and developers gathered on a plot of barren land Thursday to mark the start of construction on the Promenade at Downey, a giant 77-acre mixed-used development on the former site of Downey Studios.

Brian Saeki, director of community development for Downey, said Phase 1 of construction, which includes roads, utilities, sewer and other infrastructure, is anticipated to begin within a month.

Buildings should begin going up by the end of first quarter 2014, following a "very aggressive" construction schedule, Saeki said.

The $170 million development is expected to create 3,000 temporary construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

"We are very proud of the impact that this project will bring to our local economy and to the entire southeast region," said Mayor Mario Guerra.

Previously known as Tierra Luna (the name was changed earlier this year), the development is being marketed as a "lifestyle center" with 1.1 million square feet of retail space, 300,000 square feet of office space and a 150-room hotel.

"What we mean by 'lifestyle center' is it's a place where you really can do everything that you want," Saeki said. "From big box retailers and larger format retailers to mid-size junior anchors. There will be a really open plaza area with water features, a nice seating area, and there's going to be very specific attention paid toward acknowledging the site's history."

Wireless internet will be available throughout the facility, officials said.

No retailers have been officially announced for the Promenade, other than Cinemark, which plans to open a 14-screen theater at the center.

A list of retailers will likely be announced early next year, Saeki said.

********** Published: Nov. 14, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 31