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Council to Decide on Supermarket, Discount Store for Towne Center

February 02, 1992

CERRITOS — The City Council is expected to decide Wednesday whether to approve a commercial development at Towne Center that has stirred controversy because the major tenants would be a discount store and a supermarket rather than upscale outlets once envisioned.

The council will consider a proposal by the Arizona-based Vestar Development Co. to build a Wal-Mart store, Smith's Food and Drug Center, a 10-screen Edwards Cinema and a variety of restaurants and other stores on 41.6 acres in the northwest corner of Towne Center near the Artesia (91) Freeway. It is the city's last major redevelopment area.

City staff has recommended approval of the development. The City Council voted 3 to 2 in September to give Vestar a 90-day exclusive right to negotiate.

Some council members said they were concerned that the development would clash with the more prestigious Sheraton Hotel and Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts at Towne Center. At the same time, officials acknowledged that no upscale department stores had approached the city about locating there.

City Manager Art Gallucci said last week that Vestar has the funds to move ahead immediately with the $35-million development, adding, "There is very little development going on anywhere due to difficult economic times." The staff has estimated that the development will generate $66.2 million in revenue for the city over a 20-year period.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at City Hall, Bloomfield Avenue at 183rd Street.

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