Huntington Beach Project on Monday Agenda


A $24-million project to transform an entire block of downtown Huntington Beach from an asphalt lot into townhouses, restaurants and shops will be considered Monday night by the City Council.

Opponents say Plaza Almeria, also known as Third Block West, is too massive and that the townhouses will be out of place among the businesses downtown.

The project, bordered by Main and 5th streets and Olive and Orange avenues, will feature a combination of residential, retail and office space, and will include a 64-foot clock tower and a wide sidewalk plaza along Main Street. Project proponents say the mixture will add vitality to downtown and attract big-name shops and restaurants.


But Bob Bolen, owner of Huntington Beach Realty on Main Street, foresees conflicts between the new homeowners and businesses on Main Street. He said the residents may end up complaining about businesses operating too late or too early.

Local builder John Tillotson and his company, JT Development, first won approval for the project in 1991, but a lawsuit by a landowner and a redesign prompted by changes in the economy have delayed it until now. The current blueprint won planning commission approval in February.

But shortly afterward, Bolen and about 12 other downtown business and property owners appealed to block the project. Construction was on hold again until the City Council could hear the appeal, which it is scheduled to do Monday night.