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Base Line still hot spot for Claremont development

Claremont continues to build and change, as evidenced by several projects on the city’s radar.

The Meadow Park development, the 95-unit high density condominium development on the site of the former strawberry patch, is moving forward after a seasonal setback from the LA County Fire Department, according to Claremont Principal Planner Chris Veirs.

The developer needed permission from the fire department to reroute utilities, and the city couldn’t allow them to continue construction unless they got the okay, Mr. Veirs noted.

“That permission from LA County Fire took much longer than anticipated,” he said. “So that stopped the project for two or three months.”

The development had been a source of frustration from the city in the past, when William Lyon, the developer behind Meadow Park, stopped construction in early 2016 due to unsure market conditions. The city eventually had to issue an ultimatum—either continue construction or tear down the project—and building began again.

So far, Meadow Park has 18 units built, with another 12 under construction. Phase two of a six-phase process is currently underway, with a tentative completion time of about 18 months, Mr. Veirs said.

One project that has been permanently grounded was the proposed Gable Crossing development on Base Line Road.

Arizona-based developer Taylor Morrison was aiming to construct a high-density condo development on the former site of the Montessori School. Taylor Morrison also built the nearby Citrus Glen development—also known as Pitzer Ranch—on the southwest corner of Base Line Road and Monte Vista Avenue.

But the Gable Crossing project was quashed months after representatives of Taylor Morrison presented their plans to the architectural commission in January 2014.

The reason, Mr. Veirs said, was anxiety over the initially slow selling rate of Citrus Glen.

“Their initial sale at Citrus Glen was slower than anticipated, and it raised some concerns for them,” Mr. Veirs said.

The decision was made a year after the architectural meeting, and the lot is still owned by Saul Jaffe. Mr. Jaffe, Mr. Veirs noted, has been doing some renovations to the historical structures on the site; two stone barns and a house.

Once the structures are renovated, it would be easier to attract a developer who initially would pass on taking on the extra work and expense to restore historical buildings.

Mr. Jaffe declined to comment when reached by the COURIER on Wednesday afternoon.

Another empty lot under scrutiny is the former Rich’s Foods property in the middle of Village West. For years, the property was supposed to be the site of the Village Lofts, a multi-story live/work development that would have completed the Village Expansion.

But years of inactivity by property owner and developer Denley Investment and Management culminated in June when the city council approved vacating the developer’s plans for the Village Lofts, essentially forcing Denley to start over again.

For now, the lot remains exactly that—a fenced-off empty space in the middle of the Village. As the property owner, Denley is still responsible for the upkeep of the property, Mr. Veirs said.

For now, the city is working with the developer to clear some weeds and dust to improve the overall condition of the property. Denley has been silent in regards to another possible development, Mr. Veirs said.

Information is still up in the air regarding the vacant standalone building in Peppertree Square, which has been without a tenant since it was built a few years ago. Mr. Veirs noted the city is not aware of any tenants that were imminent at the space.

At the northeast corner of Claremont lies the upcoming Sycamore Hills Plaza, an 80,000 square foot shopping center that straddles the border of Claremont and Upland west of the 210 freeway on Base Line Road.

The two anchors of the center, located in Upland, will be a CVS Pharmacy and 365 by Whole Foods; a smaller, cheaper iteration of Whole Foods geared toward millennial shoppers.

According to Mr. Veirs, about 16,000 square feet of the center—comprised of two buildings at the west end of the property—are within the Claremont city limits. Mr. Veirs noted several smaller tenants are set to occupy spaces within the Claremont side of the project, including WaBa Grill, Verizon Wireless, Jersey Mike’s, OrangeTheory Fitness and UPS.

Sycamore Hills Plaza is set to open early spring 2018.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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