South Gate : Car Brokerage Lot Given Tentative Approval

Over the objections of some trailer park residents, the South Gate City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, has approved a tentative agreement with automobile dealer Pete Ellis and a partner to put a $1.5-million car brokerage agency on a vacant lot owned by the agency.

On Tuesday, the agency voted 3-1, with Robert A. Philipp dissenting, to approve a working agreement with M & E Autoland Properties Inc. of North Hollywood.

Ellis and his partner, Autoland president Michael Malamut, would operate one Saturday a month on a 7.14-acre vacant lot next to the Thunderbird Mobilehome Park. Autoland is proposing to bring in about 1,250 new cars to sell only to credit union members with preapproved credit union financing.

The agency is proposing to spend $1.5 million for construction improvements on the lot, including landscaping and lighting. City officials say the deal could generate more than $12 million in sales taxes over a 15-year period.


Some residents of the Thunderbird Mobilehome Park are objecting because they say the operation will create traffic congestion, smog and security problems. The 20-acre park with 239 trailer coaches is just south of the proposed new car dealership. The north boundary is Firestone Boulevard, the Long Beach Freeway is on the east and the Los Angeles River is on the west.

An environmental impact study is planned and a public hearing must be scheduled before a final agreement is reached. A final agreement is not expected before 30 to 45 days.