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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona : New AQMD Headquarters

June 09, 1988

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has announced plans to move its headquarters from El Monte to a 16-acre site at University Corporate Center, an industrial park being developed at the junction of the San Bernardino and Orange freeways.

The AQMD is planning to build a two-story, 240,000-square-foot complex that would include a 20,000-square-foot laboratory. The project, with an estimated cost of $35.3 million, is expected to be completed within two years, AQMD spokesman Tom Eichhorn said.

The air quality district, which serves 12 million residents in four counties, has had its headquarters in El Monte since 1979, but is running out of room. "We've outgrown the site, and there are limited opportunities for expansion," Eichhorn said.

The AQMD chose Pomona for its new headquarters to reduce the distance its employees drive to work, Eichhorn said. A survey of its employees indicated that most lived within 10 miles of the proposed site and that there was a pattern of employees relocating closer to the eastern San Gabriel Valley.

Although the AQMD will not pay property tax for the site, Pomona Mayor Donna Smith said the agency will be a boon to the city's redevelopment efforts. However, Councilman C.L. (Clay) Bryant said the city would be better off with a tax-paying private firm on the site, adding that the AQMD does little good and places burdensome regulations on business.

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