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Complex Under Discussion Again

February 27, 1986

WEST COVINA — For the third time in six years, West Covina's redevelopment agency is negotiating with a developer to complete the Atrium Project, a proposed three-building hotel and office complex joined by a four-story glass structure near Glendora and Garvey avenues.

Watt Investment Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Watt Industries, has agreed to increase the climate-controlled atrium area by 25% and to increase retail office space by 5,000 square feet. Watt Investment Properties has about 45 days to finalize the agreement.

The cost of the $157-million project will be shared by the developer and the agency. The financial obligations have not been determined, but the agency has spent about $10 million in acquiring the real estate, relocating business tenants and preparing the site, according to Chet Yoshizaki, agency development manager.

The office buildings would be four stories and the hotel four stories originally, with a possible addition.

The project was originally awarded in 1980 to COGO, a joint-venture group that agreed to build two five-story buildings, one a hotel, the other an office building, according to Yoshizaki. COGO pulled out of the agreement in 1981 because one its partners could not follow through with the project, Yoshizaki said.

Equidon Investment Builders of Irvine, the next developer contracted by the city, agreed in 1983 to build an expanded version of the project, which included an atrium connecting a 300-room hotel and two eight-story office buildings. The first part of the two-phase project was to begin early in 1984.

But the agreement with Equidon fell through last year, Yoshizaki said, because the firm had overextended itself in other development projects.

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