The City Council has narrowed to five firms the list of potential developers for the 125-acre Towne Center project, city spokesman Tom Robinson said.
The five were selected from 30 potential developers that expressed interest in the $225-million office, shopping and theater complex after negotiations between the council and the Alexander Haagen Co.--the city's first choice to guide the project--collapsed in late November. The city and Haagen, a Manhattan Beach-based firm, were unable to agree on how profits from the project would be divided, officials said.
Robinson said the five companies being considered are General Growth of Canoga Park, Donahue and Schriber of Costa Mesa, Tishman West of Orange, Transpacific Development of Los Angeles and Tutor-Saliba of Sylmar. General Growth was in the running a year ago when Haagen was selected, and Tishman West was a partner at one time with Haagen on the Towne Center project before dropping out of the project.
Council members say the development--which is to include a 400-room hotel and convention center, a mall with three major department stores, a 600- to 750-seat community theater and seven office buildings--still is the city's top priority.
Councilman Donald Knabe said the council will decide by mid-March whether to select a "master developer" for the project or subdivide the site--bounded by Bloomfield Avenue, 183rd Street and the 91 Freeway--and contract with numerous developers.
The City Council has given the green light to the final phase of the city's 10-year push to reduce noise and pollution for homeowners living next to freeways, approving construction of three sections of sound walls along the 91 Freeway.
The $1.5-million project--which the city is financing--must be approved by the California Department of Transportation, city spokesman Tom Robinson said. The 13-foot walls will be built along the south side of the 91 Freeway from 183rd Street to Carmenita Road, the south side of the 91 from Carmenita to the city limits at Coyote Creek, and the north side of the 91 from Bloomfield Avenue to Norwalk Boulevard.
The council voted 4 to 0 to approve construction of the walls, with Mayor Barry Rabbitt abstaining. Rabbitt is a Caltrans engineer and lives in one of the neighborhoods next to the 91 Freeway that will benefit from the new walls.
About five miles of sound walls have been built at city expense along the 605 and 91 freeways in the last 10 years, Robinson said.