Council examines Alhambra Place proposal
Shea Properties presented to City Council Monday its latest plan to develop Alhambra Place, the former site of the Mervyn’s department store on the corner of Main Street and Garfield Avenue.
The developer's proposal is a mixed-use project with 260 units of apartments, including a clubhouse, gym, pool, and spa. The design also includes a commercial space for restaurants and shops and a four-story parking structure. Shea Properties has not disclosed the names of interested retailers.
Greg Anderson, senior vice president at Shea Properties, stated Monday that the apartments are geared toward a young market with spending power. “The market is young, up-and-coming professionals that are looking for high-quality living, highly amenitized, secure environments with really great amenity packages,” Anderson said.
Shea Properties is in the process of purchasing Alhambra Place from the previous owner, according to Director of Development Services and Assistant City Manager Tara Schultz. The final design plan must be approved by the Planning Commission and Design Review Board before being finalized by City Council. If the plans are approved, Shea Properties may be able to close escrow by midsummer and start construction, Schultz said.
Council members said they were cautious about rushing into a design plan for the sake of getting the project started. Councilman Steven Placido had questions about the quality of the residences and encouraged council members and city staff to take their time examining every detail of the plan.
“This is the centerpiece in town. This is the project that everyone is waiting to see and the city is not going to take any shortcuts to push this through," Placido said. "We have a process. This takes time and we should work with the city to make sure that everything’s done in a judicious way."
Mayor Stephen Sham was concerned that retail businesses leasing the space would not be there long term. “My personal feeling is, we want to have good, sustainable tenants. Meaning I don’t want them to come in, two years, they’re out," Sham said, adding that the developers need to consider Alhambra's diverse population and invite businesses the residents need.
Weren't able to attend the meeting? You can watch it here. City Council usually meets every second and fourth Monday of the month on the second floor of City Hall: 111 S. First St., Alhambra, Calif., 91801. The next regular meeting will be on March 10 at 5:30 and 7 p.m.