Downtown Renewal Plan Proposed

A developer and a major Torrance property owner have proposed a $35-million redevelopment plan for the city's old downtown area that would include 170 new condominiums and 28,000 square feet of retail space.

The four-acre project proposed by Gascon Mar, a development firm based in San Diego, and Sam Levy Investments, a Torrance-based property firm, would include three parcels in a four-block downtown area.

Included in the proposal are plans to shave off the back of the Newberry store at Sartori and El Prado avenues to provide more parking spaces. The down-sized building would be converted into a market or a series of smaller stores.

Representatives of the two companies also told City Council members Tuesday night that their proposal calls for building 100 condominiums in three-story buildings at Torrance Boulevard and Cabrillo Avenue and 70 more at Cravens Avenue and El Prado. The units would range in price from $125,000 to $270,000.

The project would eliminate landscaped center medians on several streets to convert the current parallel parking to a diagonal pattern and would raze two old hotels and the quarters of several local stores and offices.

Gascon Mar representatives said they plan to conduct a series of public meetings on the proposal before filing formal plans with the city.

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