For $500,000, Benihana agrees to come to Downey

DOWNEY − Anxious to bring a high-end restaurant to the new Promenade development project, the City Council this week agreed to pay $500,000 in federal economic incenvites in exchange for a 10-year commitment from Benihana. In exchange for the $500,000, Benihana agreed to open a 7,500 sq. ft. restaurant with 1,800 sq. ft. patio at the Promenade, which is scheduled to be built on 77 acres south of Downey Landing.

Benihana also agreed to create at least 35 full-time job positions for a minimum of 10 years, with 15 of those jobs going to low- and moderate-income people.

“Staff believes that facilitating an opening of a Benihana restaurant in the Promenade at Downey lifestyle center would not only provide jobs and help stimulate economic growth, but also enhance the entire Promenade development,” community development director Aldo Schindler wrote in a staff report.

The incentives will be paid using CDBG funding, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide “decent housing, a suitable living environment, and opportunities to expand economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.”

In this case, Downey will use the funds “to support economic development activities and job creation in attracting new businesses to Downey,” Schindler wrote in the staff report.

“The Promenade is an important project that will be a regional draw for visitors to Downey,” the report states. “As such, Benihana represents an important step towards the goal of making the Promande at Downey lifestyle center an attractive destination.

“Providing assistance for this project is also consistent with the objectives of the CDBG goals by eliminating blight conditions, encouraging economic reinvestment and providing new job opportunities.”

The incentives will be paid in three installments over the course of the next two years.



Published: Nov. 27, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 33

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