Last month, the Cerritos City Council approved the remodeling of the Fountain Plaza Shopping Center, as well as construction of a new two-story building in place of the original building, which burned down in a massive overnight fire on Oct. 23 of last year.
( to see exclusive Patch video and photos from the scene on the night of the fire.)
Destroying the Marhaba Chinese Palace, and eventually taking down 10 business, including the Hallelujah Driving School, the Fountain Plaza fire has left the center area of the shopping center completely empty for close to a year.
“The fire was really unfortunate, not only for property owners, but also for all of the tenants of the building,” said councilman Joseph Cho. “However, it provided an opportunity for remodeling the entire shopping center. I hope this project can bring fortune to everyone.”
Construction applicant, Perkowitz and Ruth Architects, proposed a design style more prevalent in modern shopping centers: a building which looks like many small buildings put together. This technique was used in the Cerritos Promenade shopping center located east of . The new Fountain Plaza shopping center will also include a communal seating area outside the buildings.
Jennifer Daw of Perkowitz and Ruth Architects said, by approving the project, the community will greatly benefit from a revitalized shopping center with various tenants to meet their shopping needs.
“We are eager to start construction, hopefully by the end of Nov./early part of Dec., once we receive all necessary approvals,” Daw said.
Edward Kim, a representative of the plaza's property owners, said the owners are expecting to receive about $3,000,000 to $3,500,000 from insurance proceeds. Kim said the rough estimate, just for the hard cost of construction, would come out to $4,000,000 to as high as $5,500,000 -- more than the owners expected. This excludes the also located and still operating in the plaza.
“The owners are looking for additional financing to complete the project and at this moment, we don't have all the funds ready to finish the job,” Kim said.
The final motion, which resulted in a 5-0 vote, involved the applicants donating to the city's art fund, rather than paying the art fee which is required to do the necessary construction.
The council voted 5-0 on giving a 50% discount on green fees to all military veterans on Veterans Day, starting Nov. 11, 2012 at the .
The council (sans Councilman Mark Pulido who recused himself) also approved legislation on several items including prohibiting a junk dealer or recycler from possessing manhole covers, backflow devices and fire hydrants and sending a letter to the State Department of Parks and Recreation in support of the City of Whittier and other cities seeking reimbursement for city funds spent to keep state parks open.
The meeting was adjourned in memory of former Let Freedom Ring Committee member, Dan Joves.
The next city council meeting will be held on Aug. 9.