Two Town Center development projects took a step forward Monday as the City Council directed staff to begin talks with local business owners, Southern California Edison and the Los Alamitos Medical Center.
Town Center South, an idea floating around City Hall for about a year, would see the development of the alleyway behind the businesses on the east side of Los Alamitos Boulevard from Katella to Farquhar avenues.
Besides such amenities as additional lighting, signage and walkways, placing utility lines underground is considered an improvement key to the project's success. City officials have budgeted about $250,000 but are uncertain they will get support from Southern California Edison or local property owners.
Some council members believe the city should go ahead with or without confirmation from local business. "I don't think that we should depend on private property owners to do what the city needs to do," Councilman Art DeBolt said.
"I thought it was already decided; it was a done deal," said Judy Klabouch, owner of Green Street Interiors Wallpaper, located in the project area. "The business owners will do the improvements. It's a great thing and people are excited about it."
City officials hope to have the project finished within a year.
The city's other project, Town Center East, would involve the redevelopment of business property on the north side of Katella Avenue from Los Alamitos Boulevard to Los Alamitos Medical Center, where expansion plans are imminent.
Spurred by recent hospital closures in Lakewood and Long Beach and the potential closure of Martin Luther Hospital in Anaheim, expansion plans call for a new 50,000-square-foot medical office at Cherry Street, a doubling of emergency room hospital beds from eight to 16, and a 400- to 500-car parking structure east of Kaylor Street.
"We have a developer who is interested in taking a fresh look at that [area]," City Manager Bob Dominguez said.
Chris Ceballos can be reached at (714) 966-7440.