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Home Razed at Delayed Project Site

March 15, 1997|MIMI KO CRUZ

Bulldozers began razing a half-burned historic home Friday, clearing the way for an affordable-housing project that is at the center of a redevelopment controversy.

Developers were to have completed the project--a hotel for low-income single people--by early 1995, but the work has yet to begin. City officials said Urban Communities-San Gabriel Partners of Costa Mesa could not secure funding for the project and sold its interest to another developer.

The new developer, ADI Inc. of Los Angeles, took over the project about a year ago, said Gary Chalupsky, executive director of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.

In September, the City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, declared that ADI was in default, saying the developer had failed to submit several required applications and plans for the $8.7-million project and had not presented proof that it can finance the hotel.

ADI officials could not be reached for comment Friday.

On Tuesday, the city agency will consider terminating its agreement to lend the developer $1 million for the single-room-occupancy hotel.

In recent months, ADI has submitted much of the required paperwork, city officials said. If the company shows proof that it has funding, the council may have no legal basis for terminating its agreement, Chalupsky said.

The house razed Friday was a Victorian structure at 224 E. Commonwealth Ave. Built in the 1890s, it was one of the oldest in the city's downtown district. Officials had planned to preserve it by moving it to another part of town, but a recent fire destroyed half of it.

The project to be built on the site is to consist of 136 studio units in a four-story building with an underground garage and a courtyard.

The Redevelopment Agency will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave. Information: (714) 738-6300.

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