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Atlantic Square No 'Done Deal'

September 30, 1990

(Times Staff Writer) Irene Chang, in her article mistitled "Renewal Project Gets a Boost" (Times, Sept. 16), was at a loss to make any sense of the mess which we in Monterey Park call the "Atlantic Square Muddle."

The latest flurry of activity was instigated by a number of developments, all of which make the questionable project less attractive as an investment for Monterey Park. The developments are:

1. Champion Development failed to obtain a loan to cover its part of the land acquisition and construction costs under terms originally agreed upon by a previous City Council.

2. The new package of conditions requires:

a. An increase in the city's investment of 50%.

b. A loss in security for the city as the lender's interest supersedes Monterey Park's interest in case of developer default.

3. The report prepared by Kotin, Regan and Mouchly, for which Monterey Park and Champion each paid $5,000 for a total of $10,000, is not an independent evaluation of the Atlantic Square project. The above mentioned firm has a business relationship with the developer; therefore, the report fails the requirement that it be an objective analysis. A decision will be made based on this questionable document. The report overstates the net benefit to the city by $5.9 million and our city stands to lose $5 million over a 30-year period.

Monterey Park residents should not consider this project as a "done deal." A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday night, Oct. 29, in the Monterey Park City Council Chambers. Our concern is that in scheduling the public hearing so late, the council may commit the city to the deal before the public can express its views.

We urge all residents to contact the city manager's office, 320 W. Newmark Ave., for a copy of the report. And by all means, please plan to attend the public hearing! It is time to send a message to the Community Redevelopment Agency that we want accountability and that CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) business, such as the report, is public business to be discussed at open meetings.

IRV and RUTH M. WILLNER

Monterey Park

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