Economic development moving ahead throughout the city

October 06, 2004
Santa Paula City Council

Economic development throughout the city was the focus of an update given to the City Council at the Sept. 27 meeting.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesEconomic development throughout the city was the focus of an update given to the City Council at the Sept. 27 meeting.Economic Development Director Charmaine Stouder told the council that real estate transactions are up and plans are coming together to improve the downtown business district.The city’s exclusive negotiation for the City Hall complex continues with the potential developer, said Stouder.New Group has informed Stouder that their negotiations with retailers – including a major grocery market - are starting to jell and more information should be forthcoming shortly.A new fitness center will soon be opened at the former Santa Paula Hardware building and city plans to turn the former Santa Paula Plumbing building into a Paseo are moving ahead.Façade design has been completed for the plumbing building as well as for the next door neighbor, the future home of a new Mupu Bar & Grill.“The Mupu Partners have been thinking about their restaurant again,” and are in the midst of interior designing. “We have been working to help them design the façade,” which, along with the plumbing building, should be completed in early 2005.“We really see some improvements in the downtown,” including the purchase of the former Woods’ Jewelry building. Building renovations are underway and in January about 4,500 square feet of space will be on the rental market.
Green Alley will finally undergo a transformation including a possible water feature and lighting that will improve Main Street access from the city parking lot. The city parking lot will also be the scene of enhanced lighting, said Stouder.Vons is considering a renovation and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz noted that the market has already completed some interior redesign that has improved the city’s only major grocery store.“I want to commend Vons’ management for investing in Santa Paula,” including a proposed future remodeling, he said. “I’m glad that they are making that effort now…it’s amazing what a little potential competition will do.”The Bender industrial complex near Kmart on the city’s west end is nearing completion and the 50,000 square foot building – to be completed in mid-2005 – has already attracted several tenants said Stouder.The Railroad Plaza corridor area has been the focus of “two excellent proposals,” from developers, said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.The in-the-works projects “focus on what the council really wants to do, revitalize the economy…Santa Paula is like a shining car but the engine needed some work. Now it’s becoming a shining car and the engine is working.”Bobkiewicz also commended Stouder, Rochelle Margolin and Elisabeth Amador for their efforts on behalf of Santa Paula’s economic development.

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