County supervisors on Tuesday approved a $1.96-million, 12-month swing loan to the Watt Commercial Development Corp., an important step in obtaining a federal grant for construction of a small shopping center in an impoverished Maywood neighborhood.
The county, whose Community Development Commission is assisting Maywood in applying for the grant, was required to make the front-end loan before the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would consider approving a $1-million grant for the $9-million project.
The loan, which would probably be used by Watt to buy the center's 3.5-acre site at Slauson Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard, would carry a rate 2 1/2% below the market, according to a staff report.
The shopping center site is within the portion of Maywood that is in a federally recognized "pocket of poverty," which also includes Cudahy and parts of Bell and Bell Gardens. The designation allows poor cities to apply for Urban Development Action Grants, which are designed to create jobs for low-income workers.
Construction of the 50,000-square-foot Maywood center would create about 130 permanent jobs, the report said.