The City was briefed at a Study Session Tuesday of plans for two new hotels and an eight-story 50-unit residential condo tower to replace the historic Santa Anita Inn on Huntington Drive, Councilman Bob Harbicht told Chamber board members this morning. The complex including the two hotels being proposed by Marriott Hotels, tentatively a Residence Inn and a Fairfield Inn & Suites, would cost a minimum of $80 million and perhaps as much as $120 million, according to Habricht.
Meanwhile, the school district is facing a possible $480,000 fee to pay for a recall election if proponents of a potential recall of three school board members are successful in collecting enough signatures, according to Arcadia Unified School District superintendent Dr. Joel Shawn.
Chamber President, Arlynn Robinson of Century 21 Earll Ltd. lead the meeting and shared the success of the Hoedown fundraiser last month at Matt Denny’s Ale House for the Chamber building interior improvement fund. Approximately 70 people attended the event with Havin’ a Ball dancers, live JC 2 band and plenty of raffle prizes. Chamber Improvement Fund Committee Chairperson Joan Francone of Ori Global is already planning other fundraisers such, as A Day at the Races at Santa Anita Race Track on February 8 and a Cinco de Mayo-themed celebration on May 1.
Robinson also introduced the Chamber’s new bookkeeper Kim Arnold, who takes over all accounting duties this week and will initially spend several hours in office every Wednesday and Thursday and attend or be available for board and Executive Committee meetings each month to answer any questions not covered by Treasurer.
CEO Scott Hettrick updated the board on a 90-day notice of termination of a contract by Metromedia to publish the Chamber’s next four quarterly member newsletters under the name of Arcadia Magazine that was to begin this month and include a 10,000 issue member directory/comunity profile in October themed to the Breeders’ Cup. Although Metromedia initially said disappointing advertising meant they would not publish any issues or pay any of the $10,000 minimum in royalties, after concerns expressed by Hettrick, Metromedia’s current offer is to publish and deliver the first Taste of Arcadia-themed issue a few weeks late in early September and pay a $2,500 royalty.
Hettrick also presented three options to the board for a three-year licensing deal from Panasonic to replace the current lighted outdoor sign with a digital LED display that would range from $670 – $990 per month. The board voted to approve the highest-quality option but asked Hettrick to provide visual comparisons, if possible, and check into less interest rates for two-years, and to inquire about projected life of the sign and costs for maintenance. Work would not begin until laste this year at the earliest.
Finally, Hettrick said the interior remodeling bid is down to final input and comparisons between All-Pro Builders which joined the Chamber to make a bid, and which has been aggressive with innovative suggestions and mock-ups for Chamber to use at Hoedown fundraiser, and the recent bid from Vargas Olson, recommended for consideration by the City, which would likely join Chamber if approved. A decision is expected in the coming month, with Phase One work potentially beginning shortly after Taste of Arcadia and lasting only a couple weeks.
Board Member and District reports at the board meeting:
- Councilman Bob Harbicht: Downtown Arcadia property owners voted to have a Community Benefits District, which will genrate marketing funds of $117,000 the first year of 2014 to generate more foot traffic in the area and encourage more retail shops to entice locals and riders of the Gold Line to walk south on First Avenue when the new tratin station opens in 2016. Hale Medical Center had their groundbreaking ceremony on August 13. Soo Medical Building on Colorado Place is also underway.
- Arcadia School District: Superintendent Dr. Joel Shawn introduced Ryan Foran in the Public Information Office, who will assist with getting information out to the community about all the activities that are happening with the district and the school. Classes resume Tuesday for Arcadia High School, middle schools and elementary schools will start on Wednesday Aug. 28.
- Real Estate Updates: Arcadia Association of REALTORS Executive Director Andrew Cooper provided handout showing Arcadia Home resale activity showing a positive increase from 2012.
- Methodist Hospital: There are two events in October — Walk from Obesity on October 5 at the Arboretum, and the 24th Annual Crystal Ball featuring Smokey Robinson on October 19 (see fliers below).
- Government Affairs Forum: Speaker for September 5 meeting will be Congresswoman Judy Chu. One topic will be the proposed National Recreation Area in San Gabriel Valley.
- Taste of Arcadia on September 23 with Gold Sponsor Westfield Santa Anita, Silver Sponsors: Merrill Lynch Arcadia, Professional Advisory Services, Wells Fargo, Methodist Hospital. Business Showcase Sponsor is Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary. This year there will be a special contest at the Classic Car Show where guests have a chance to win $50 Macy’s gift cards. Also new this year is a Monday Night Football Lounge, sponsor by State Farm T.G. Metzger Insurance and a Red Carpet Experience sponsors are Printing Control and The Executive Factor. Peter Dills, food critic is promoting the Taste on his KABC radio show and he will be attending the event.