VENTURA : Master Plan Urged for Downtown Area


Developers of three projects along one block in downtown Ventura should work together to design a master plan for the historic neighborhood, a city committee recommended Wednesday.

City officials suggested that the builders of a multiscreen movie theater and two retail shopping centers in the 200 block of Main Street coordinate their projects so all are drawn up and built at about the same time.

At the economic opportunity and revitalization committee meeting Wednesday, developer Thomas J. Wood requested a new agreement prohibiting the city from talking to other developers about the 118-year-old Peirano Building. An earlier deal had expired.


The renewed pact would last into September, about a month after a similar deal approved with developers of the theater and shopping center runs out.

In the meantime, design work and financial planning for all three projects will continue. But each of the builders has said that the city must contribute some funds toward their developments if they are to be successful.

The city would benefit by attracting upscale shops and a movie house to its downtown core, an area vital to Ventura’s tourist trade, officials said.

On Wednesday, Wood told members of the committee that he thinks the work should be done at the same time to avoid disrupting business for tenants he hopes to lure to the refurbished Peirano Square.

City staff recommended that the council approve an extension to the negotiating agreement with Ventura Realty--Wood’s company--when it comes before the Redevelopment Agency board next month.

Ventura bought the historic Peirano Building in 1987, intending to preserve it as a historic landmark. But officials soon found that restoring the site would cost too much, and it has stood empty since.