After years of controversy, legal challenges and environmental roadblocks, the City of Santa Clarita is moving forward to purchase and develop the Whittaker-Bermite property near Bouquet Junction.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, a partnership with the Lewis and Shapell companies was announced to explore the possibility of completing this endeavor.
“The big thing is that the city is looking to ownership of this property and good things can happen,” said Gail Ortiz, speaking for the City. “But there are a lot of challenges; the property has been in bankruptcy and parts are contaminated. The bottom line is that we can’t do it on our own, so we’re looking for a partnership to explore the possibilities.”
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With a short, one-year window to secure funding and come up with a plan for the property, as outlined in the settlement of two lawsuits in 2010, the city is now looking for public input on the project and is hosting an open house discussion with representatives of the Lewis and Shapell companies from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23 in the Century Room at City Hall.
The public is invited to participate in this open house and ask questions about the project.
The representatives from the Lewis and Shapell will be on hand to meet members of the community and provide information about the work they have done in other communities with regard to development.
Lewis Operating Corporation has been in business for 55 years and has developed master planned communities in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah that cover more than 25,000 acres. Lewis’s focus is on developing mixed-use planned communities consisting of residential subdivisions, building and owning rental communities, shopping centers, office parks, and industrial buildings.
They also have significant experience with environmental remediation and the coordination of that remediation with redevelopment. The combined experience of both companies includes remediation experience and the development of planned communities with thousands of residential units and millions of square feet of retail, office and industrial space that is still owned and operated by these companies.
“We are also in the process of developing an outreach program that will provide opportunities for residents, community members and stakeholders to get involved and provide leadership on achieving the goals and objectives that will be laid out for the Whittaker Bermite property,” said Paul Brotzman, Director of Community Development for the City.
The open house on February 23 is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. City Hall is located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard. For more information or to RSVP, contact the City at 661-255-4939.