South Pasadena officials credit the Gold Line light rail line for the revitalization of the area around the station there, Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Director of Public Affairs Lisa Levy Buch told a couple dozen attendees of the Arcadia Towne Center Business Association March 14.
That was good news for the property and business owners in the area near the station being built on the northwest corner of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street, as was news from Buch that the entire 11.5-mile route from Pasadena to Azusa should be completely built and ready to open on time or even a little ahead of time by fall of 2015 or earlier. The ATC Biz Association was formed nearly three years ago to begin revitalizing retail and entertainment and other attractions on First Avenue and Huntington Drive in anticipation of capitalizing on so many new visitors riding the rail line and stopping in Arcadia.
Buch also told property and business owners and city officials during the regular monthly meeting at the Arcadia Blues Club that Arcadians are in for a lot of construction challenges for the next year as three new stations are constructed through the center of town. But she said it will be up to L.A. Country Metro, a separate organization from the construction-only Authority to determine when to make the Metro Gold Line Extension operational.
Buch said construction on the bridge over Santa Anita Avenue near In-N-Out and Fasching’s Car Wash will begin in April after completion of the new bridge a short distance west of Santa Anita over Colorado Boulevard. It is hoped that work on the Santa Anita bridge will be complete before the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park Nov. 1 & 2, after which a new bridge will be constructed over Huntington Drive at Second Avenue where a single-track bridge currently stands. Contrary to previous plans to simply add a second bridge next to the existing one, Buch said her current understanding now is that the bridge standing over Huntington will be removed and replaced with a double-wide bridge, just as happened over Colorado Blvd.
In answer to a question by City Councilman Peter Amundson, Buch confirmed that the parking garage near the Arcadia station on First Avenue at Santa Clara St., will be a two-level facility with a maximum capacity of 300 cars. That garage will be the same size as the one in Irwindale, but is being built to be expandable in the future if the demand is required. Additional funding would be needed to do so, she said. Buch also noted that the garage near the station in Asuza has a 400-car capacity since it will be the terminus of the route and therefore likely to draw more cars from all points east of that endpoint who want to ride the train.
In other business, core Association leaders Marie Taylor of NAI Capital and Scott Hettrick, CEO of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, as well as Jerry Schwartz, economic development manager of the City of Arcadia, updated attendees about the recent meeting of the related Community Benefits Business District Steering Committee which is preparing for a vote to establish a Property Owner-based Business Improvement District. No next meeting date has been set yet.
Hettrick and Taylor also updated attendees about the recent walking tour meeting with City officials Phil Wray and Lina Hui to designate best locations in the area for new way-finding signs that will provide better directions to drivers and pedestrians to parking lots and pedestrian passageways from parking lots to store-front sidewalks. No signs will be made until if and when a PBID is successfully established with a steering committee that would determine a naming and marketing strategy, including a branding logo for the signs. That could happen as soon as July of this year.
The next meeting of the ATCBA is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E. Huntington Drive.
An update on the status and plans for construction and the station of the the Gold Line light rail will be presented by Lisa Levy Buch of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority at the General Meeting of the Arcadia Towne Center Association at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E. Huntington Drive.