New Food Hall Plan in Arcadia

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New Food Hall Plan in Arcadia

Bonnie Chen, Staff Writer

On Oct. 2, Arcadia City Council voted 4-0 in favor of building a food hall inside a pre-existing rental storage building on 33 W. Huntington Drive in Downtown Arcadia. 

The ground floor of the building will consist of around seven to eight food vendors, giving the customers an opportunity to choose from a variety of food. The directors decided to continue and keep the second through fourth levels operating as self-storage facilities.

One of the important goals of the food hall project is to “preserve the existing building and keep the mid-century look of the building,” said Senior Economic Development Analyst Tim Schwehr.

According to Arcadia Weekly, there will only be about 20 on-site parking spots available for customers of the food hall; the rest will have to park on the street. Because of this, the directors have been considering adding parking time limits on Morlan Place, the street right behind the building. They are also altering the number of spaces available for employee parking.

Concerns over parking have led to many controversies with the project. For instance, Manny Romero, the owner of Rod’s Grill, a restaurant right next to the location for the proposed food hall, told the City Council that they needed more parking spots than they currently have. He is afraid that the overflowing customers from the food hall will block traffic and might even park in the parking lot exclusively for his customers due to the lack of food hall parking spaces. He feels this will negatively affect his business and “create a parking crisis.” 

According to Attorney Christopher Sutton, Romero is preparing to bring this case to the courts for the city’s violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Community Redevelopment Law (CRL). “The possible CEQA violation,” said Sutton, “comes from the city not filing an environmental impact study for the project.

Although changes to the construction have not been made, project proponent Peter Lee, an architect, has helped Romero by downscaling the whole project from 15,000 square feet to 5,800 square feet. He did this in hopes of reducing the parking problems that might take place. Determined, Lee is actively trying to find solutions that may completely resolve this conflict so he can reach a favorable outcome. 

Romero agreed to discuss the parking questions with Lee; however, it is still entirely up to Romero on whether he is going to proceed with the case. “I don’t want this to be a massive parking controversy,” said Lee. 

Currently, there are two bills being introduced by California State Senator Jim Beall. These two bills are critical regarding whether or not the construction of the food hall will take place. 

Photo courtesy of ARCADIAWEEKLY.COM