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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Palmdale to Consider Idea of Downtown Revitalization Plan

October 13, 1993|JOHN CHANDLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PALMDALE — Looking to shape a new identity for Palmdale's deteriorated downtown, the City Council on Wednesday night is slated to consider authorizing preparation of a revitalization plan that would spell out the city's goals and proposals for the area.

Acknowledging that Palmdale's retail center has shifted in recent years from downtown to the outlying area around the Antelope Valley Mall, Mayor Jim Ledford said the city needs to develop a blueprint to coordinate future development in the area.

Thus far, much of the city's vision for downtown appears to center on trying to use several major pending public projects--including a new community theater, City Hall building and sheriff's station--as catalysts for broader revitalization.

"We need to determine a community identity," Ledford said. "Right now if you drive through there, what's the identity you get? It doesn't look too good."

City officials say preparing the revitalization plan will cost more than $450,000 and take about 18 months. The city's budget for the plan calls for spending about $325,000 on consulting contracts, about $16,000 on computer equipment, and more than $100,000 in staff time.

In the meantime, city officials hope to reopen the old Maryott Auditorium, after a $2.8-million reconstruction, as a 348-seat community arts center next spring, possibly start construction on a new City Hall building next year, and have the county open a new sheriff's station by 1996 or 1997.

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