Monterey Park : Developer Gets Extension

The City Council has decided to give the Atlantic Square Shopping Center developer two more weeks to obtain a loan for the $32-million mall face lift.

Bob Champion, president of Champion Development Inc. of Long Beach, has been unable to secure financing for the redevelopment project, mainly because banks have enacted stricter lending policies since the project was approved two years ago.

But on Friday, Champion told the council that he has found a partner, Los Angeles-based Broad Inc./SunAmerica, which will finance the bulk of the project and help him secure a loan. Mayor Betty Couch and two other council members, Judy Chu and Marie T. Purvis, voted for the extension.

Champion has until March 29 to come up with the money. After the deadline, the council may give him another two-week extension. The city plans to spend up to $14 million to turn the drab mall into a Mediterranean-style commercial strip in the hopes of recouping sales tax dollars.

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