After , Cerritos’ Fountain Plaza strip mall, may not only be rebuilt, but could look radically different after the city’s Planning Commission adopted a resolution for its remodeling.
During the commission’s June 20 meeting held in the City Hall’s Council Chambers, the body unanimously approved a request by Perkowitz and Ruth Architects, based in Long Beach, to remodel the property at 11440-11510 South Street, which will include the construction of a new two-story building.
The property, which was originally constructed in 1976, according to Torrey Contreras, director of community development -- suffered extensive damage in a five-alarm blaze stemming from the Marhaba Chinese Palace, which then spread to adjacent businesses, destroying the entire structure.
to view exclusive Patch photos and video from the night of the massive Oct. 23 fire.
During Associate Planner Wyman Wong’s PowerPoint presentation, he said additions to the property would include exterior façade improvements, widened driveways, resurfaced pedestrian walkways, which will include patios and tables among other features.
According to the meeting’s agenda, the plaza will be expanded from its current 30,405 square-feet to 33,950.
Members of the commission focused mostly on issues regarding parking, accommodating neighboring businesses and schools, and the estimated time of construction and completion.
Commissioner Larry Sagert asked, if approved by the City Council, when the project’s construction would begin.
Jennifer Darwin, a representative for the architectural firm, said the company was “eager to start construction,” adding that construction would begin in December and be completed June 2013.
Commission chair Naresh Solanki asked why more parking spots weren’t required for the expanded square footage. In response, current Planning Manager Robert A. Lopez said the property has 290 spaces, but will add three more, bringing it into compliance with the city’s municipal code.
“As it was previously approved, there were more parking spaces than needed to be required,” he added.
Commissioner Frank Yokoyama voiced concerns about ongoing construction and its possible effects on students at nearby . He said he hopes construction “dust is minimized.”
Darwin said, “The contractor is aware of that.” She added that the contractor has “walked the site” and is cognizant of the school’s proximity to the project as well as neighboring businesses such as
Later in the meeting, Fountain Plaza property owner Edward Kim said, “We’ll probably get new tenants,” when Commissioner Chuong Vo asked what businesses would call the remodeled property home.
Kim said higher rental rates are why some businesses will not return, though he added that “some may come back.”
The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18 at 7 p.m.