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El Monte Taking Transit Village Into Its Own Hands

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[Rendering via Compass Blueprint Case Study]

A couple of felony charges can really derail a development, but the city of El Monte has made lemonade out of the arrests of two execs for the developer of their Transit Village mixed-use project. The city is taking the development back from the Titan Group and overseeing it themselves with their redevelopment agency, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. (Two executives were originally arrested on forgery, fraud, embezzlement, grand theft, and burglary charges in June, but those have been withdrawn while the DA investigates a related incident that could yield more charges.) The city says they'll partner with a developer each for housing, office space, and retail.

About 60 acres are covered in the city's El Monte Transit Village Specific Plan, which they passed in September 2007. It allows for up to 1,850 residences, a theater and entertainment complex, a conference center, a hotel with about 200 rooms, about 491,000 square feet of retail, about 500,000 square feet of office space, 12 acres of parks, and river improvements. The centerpiece will be the bus depot--MTA will start a total renovation of the station early next year. Only problem? Financing, natch. The total price tag is about $1 billion. Deputy City Attorney Dave Gondek is optimistic, though. He told the Tribune, "We'll have families moving in within four to five years."
· El Monte takes over $1 billion transit village in wake of fraud investigation [San Gabriel Valley Tribune]