The Fullerton City Council and Planning Commission postponed deciding on which of four potential ways the Fox Block Development Plan would replace the Ellis Place parking lot, at a joint session meeting Tuesday.
The council also voted to extend the city’s contract with the developer Pelican Communities, who have been overseeing the effort to relieve Fullerton’s parking issue, for another nine months.
“They’re all feasible. All four (plans) could be implemented physically. They have different degrees of difficulty,” said division manager from Pelican Communities, Richard Hamm.
The possible plans laid out in the meeting are as follow:
- The parking structure-only plan would build the 200-space parking structure in the Ellis Place lot and cost $7.2 million. Fullerton currently has $6.2 million designated to the project by the Redevelopment Agency and would require an extra $1 million contribution from the city. It also includes “improvements” to Ellis Place and Fox Alley.
- The parking structure-plus plan not only includes the parking structure but also the triangle lot, located across from Angelo’s and Vinci’s, which would be developed into a two-story, mixed-use building. Another building for mixed-use or office space would be built on the lot located at the corner of Chapman and Pomona Avenue.
- The residential-over-parking plan would instead add condominiums on top of a 260-space parking structure and a retail courtyard on Harbor Boulevard. However, this plan involves acquiring and relocating Angelo’s and Vinci’s restaurant to make way for development.
- The movie theater plan would build the 260-space parking structure and include an 8-screen movie theatre and retail courtyard. Pelican Communities developed this plan to give the possibility of a family-friendly space in downtown Fullerton. Like the third plan, this option also requires the acquisition of Angelo’s and Vinci’s.
No discussion regarding a sale has taken place between Pelican Communities and Angelo’s and Vinci’s owner, Cynthia Peck.
The overall project fulfills a longstanding agreement between the owners of Angelo’s and Vinci’s restaurant and Fullerton’s now-defunct Redevelopment Agency.
However, reception for the four potential plans was mixed. City Council members were eager to see development on the Ellis Place lot, but disagreed on which approach would be best to utilize.
Council members Jesus Silva and Jennifer Fitzgerald were interested in exploring options the parking structure-plus plan as well as the residential over-parking-plan.
“I want to see those two ideas fleshed out more so we can see what benefit they would bring to the community of Fullerton and how realistic either one of those might be,” Fitzgerald said.
However, Mayor Bruce Whitaker and Councilman Greg Sebourn were in favor of only building the parking structure. Mayor Pro Tem Doug Chaffee leaned toward a lighter version of option of the parking structure-plus plan.
“My preference is stick with the simple idea of building a really nice parking structure and solve the [parking] problem that has brought us all together,” Sebourn said.
The council decided to discuss further, and is expected to decide on one of the four plans at their Sept. 19 meeting. However, the agenda for that meeting has yet to be released.