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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Eastwell is finally getting a downtown

Eastwell Is Finally Getting A Downtown

Construction may soon begin due to what Eastwell has lacked since becoming a town nearly 12 years ago: a downtown.

In a young, upscale and ethnically diverse city of 70,000 residents that grew from farms where some 90,000 cows once grazed, the stage is set for the rise of a modern urban center on the former Lille Dairy Farm.

Eastwell City Council cleared the way for the ambitious project when it voted 5-0 Wednesday, May 11, approving a revised plan for 158 acres surrounded by 58th Street, Hamner Avenue, Limonite Avenue and Scholar Way. was given.

Project developer, The New Home Company consultant Peter Carlson, told council members that grading could begin within months and construction could begin in 2023.

While some council members expressed concerns about whether parking would be adequate and about Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s ability to accommodate children from families who would move to the area, they praised the overall plan.

“Are we really here after all these years of talking about it?” Asked Council member Christian Dinko, according to videotapes of the meeting. “It’s an exciting night.”

During the meeting, a city official read a written comment in an email from Omar Dandashi, who has lived in Eastwell for 12 years.

“The downtown project presents a long-pending missing piece in the heart of the city,” Dandashi wrote. “We need a place that brings the community together, a place that is built around the pedestrian experience, a place that we can call our own.”

Community Development Director Gina Gibson-Williams said the revised plan required the following elements:

  • A downtown area northwest of Limonite and Hamner spans 52 acres and contains 595,000 square feet of commercial development, 660 apartments and a civic center with a city hall, police station, and library.
  • The residential neighborhood along Scholar Way and 58th Street spans 87 acres and contains 1,840 homes ranging from single-family standalone homes to townhomes to apartments.
  • 14 acres of park and open space
  • A fire station on 1 acre at the south-east corner of the schooner and the 58th

The council approved changes to a plan adopted in December 2017 as well as the addition of a development agreement and an already approved environmental impact report.

Gibson-Williams said the project is expected to take seven to 10 years to build.

A variety of shops and restaurants are imagined.

“We want to provide as many unique shopping opportunities as possible,” Dineko said on Tuesday, May 17.

Carlson tried to keep the business piece in perspective.

“It’s not like you’ll build 70 Lazy Dog restaurants, but how many will fit in 595,000 square feet,” he said at the meeting by videotaped.

Planning manager Gus Gonzalez said the residential component — 2,500 homes — will help Eastwell adhere to its state-mandated goal of providing opportunities for more than 3,000 residential units by the end of the decade.

Mayor Pro Tame Todd Rigby said he looked forward to a modern city hall and that the council no longer needed to do business in storefronts.

Council member Jocelyn Yeo said she was excited about the library.

At the same time, members questioned whether Roosevelt High and the surrounding middle and elementary schools would be able to handle the influx of students.

John Wondriska, the administrative director of facilities for the Corona-Norco Unified School District, told the council that the 2,500 homes are projected to generate 1,200 students during the construction period of the project, and that existing schools can accommodate those children. .

Yo said she didn’t believe those new student guesses.

Dinko said council members are often asked about the school’s impact, with many parents assuming there are already too many kids at Roosevelt High. The school has about 4,600 students.

Superintendent Sam Buenostro said the Roosevelt campus has a student capacity of 5,500 and the district is enrolling at 4,800.

Brittany Ritzi Faust, communications manager for Corona-Norco Unified, wrote in an email on Tuesday that district officials would closely monitor the downtown project to see if changes to school boundaries would be needed.

“While we do not anticipate the need to build any new schools in Eastwell due to this project, we anticipate that our current school capabilities will be able to accommodate the new residents that this development may bring, ” She wrote.

World Nation News Desk
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