A mixed-use project with about 260 market-rate apartment units and 140,000 square feet of retail was proposed at a City Council study session last Monday night for Alhambra Place. Representatives from Shea Properties presented the concept for the Mervyn's building site at Main Street and Garfield Avenue that has been empty since 2009. The Aliso Viejo based real estate company owns several apartments, retail and offices in California and Colorado including mixed-use projects including Mercado del Barrio in San Diego, The Collection in Oxnard, Vantis in South Orange County, and Village Center Station in Colorado.
The project is still in the very early stages of planning with the estimated date of construction in 2015. The contractors have just filed their specific plan application and will be finalizing entitlements in 2014. The names of possible retailers will also be released next year. Commercial opening is expected in the third quarter of 2015 and the residential opening in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The city has said it has negotiated with various buyers over the years, with staff maintaining that it has held out for an appropriate big box store to replace Mervyn's in the space and serve as an anchor for other retail outlets. Alhambra Place was one of the projects that was supposed to receive funding from the Alhambra Redevelopment Agency when the program was shut down by the state due to the recession. According to the Pasadena Star-News, even though the agency had $2.8 million in its reserve fund, the money was going to be used to pay off agency debts and not to help out in the sale of properties like Alhambra Place.