Pico Rivera and Santa Fe Springs have received county approval to seek more than $16 million in tax-exempt redevelopment funds, paving the way for major projects including a shopping center and a motel complex.
Under the plan approved by the Board of Supervisors, Pico Rivera will be allowed to sell more than $7 million in industrial development bonds to generate tax-exempt construction funds for the proposed Crossroads Plaza shopping center. The project is expected to create 532 new jobs.
Major tenants at the site, on Whittier Boulevard at Rosemead Boulevard, will include Albertson's Market, Trax Auto and The Home Depot. In addition to revenue from bond sales, the city has earmarked its entire $2.9 million in 1985 redevelopment funds for the project.
Pico Rivera City Manager Dennis Courtemarche said the approval by the county "is excellent news."
He said Whittier Boulevard, an older business district with small shops stretching for several blocks, is the city's top priority for modernization. The new 20-acre, 200,000-square-foot shopping center will become the centerpiece of the revitalization effort, he said.
In conjunction with the Crossroads Plaza project, Courtemarche said, the city will widen Whittier Boulevard from Rosemead Boulevard eastward to the city limits at a cost of $1.2 million.
The city will also install landscaping and underground utilities along Whittier Boulevard.
"People who have been away and come back will not recognize Whittier Boulevard when we are done," Courtemarche said. He estimated that most of the construction would be completed by 1988.
Santa Fe Springs was granted approval to sell $9.2 million in industrial development bonds to finance a proposed 250-room Best Western motel and restaurant complex on East Firestone Boulevard near its intersection with Rosecrans Avenue. The complex is expected to create 90 new jobs.
Leigh DeSantis of the city Planning and Development Department said the motel will be the first in the city catering to the higher-priced business market.
"This will really be a step up in terms of diversification for the city," she said. "Right now all we have are two motels for people on a budget."
The motel will be composed entirely of large suites with kitchenettes, she said.
"The area is now particularly under-utilized . . . with junk and truck storage yards, car detailing and that kind of usage," she said.
In addition to the county's approval to generate $9.2 million in tax-exempt funds, the city has committed its entire 1985 redevelopment fund, amounting to $775,000, to the project.
DeSantis said the project is expected to generate about $400,000 a year in increased taxes for the city.