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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Auto Mall Expected to Gain 4th Dealer : Business: Lancaster hopes to sign a pact with Pioneer Honda-Isuzu. A sheriff's station will be built on the company's current site.

September 23, 1993|JOHN CHANDLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LANCASTER — City officials are predicting the city-developed Lancaster Auto Mall will gain its fourth outlet by late 1994 under plans for the town's Honda-Isuzu dealer to relocate there, since its current home is due to be demolished for a new sheriff's station.

Lancaster Redevelopment Director Steve Dukett said he expects in the near future to bring the City Council a development agreement confirming Pioneer Honda-Isuzu's move. On Monday night, the council agreed to negotiate exclusively with the dealer for up to 60 days.

Lancaster also agreed to pay any costs that Pioneer might incur in a legal challenge to its move. Under state law, the neighboring Honda dealership in Palmdale could fight the move because Pioneer's proposed new mall site would be less than 10 miles away.

Jack Robertson, owner of Robertson's Palmdale Honda and a Honda dealership in North Hollywood, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But Mildred Rader, one of three owners of the Pioneer dealership, said she was not expecting a challenge.

Lancaster has already begun condemnation proceedings against Pioneer's current site on Sierra Highway just north of Lancaster Boulevard. City officials are working with the county to develop a $25-million sheriff's station there to replace the current facility on Avenue J.

The city's expected development agreement with Pioneer would include payment to purchase the dealer's current site, other potential financial assistance and a schedule for the dealer to build the new mall facility. City officials expect it to open by late 1994.

Dukett said the Pioneer dealership is slated to occupy a nearly three-acre site in the interior of the 45-acre auto mall, which is located south of Avenue K and east of the Antelope Valley Freeway. Plans under discussion call for dealership facilities totaling 15,000 to 20,000 square feet in size.

Currently, the auto mall is home to three major dealers, each offering multiple car lines. If Pioneer relocates there, the city still would own more than 10 acres of vacant mall land, enough to accommodate three more dealers. But for now, Dukett said, Lancaster has no other deals pending.

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