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Calexico site entices developer, but there's a hitch

March 23, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A group of investors with more than 130 acres of farmland near the intersection of Cole Road and Highway 98 wants to sell and has found a buyer.

There is one catch.

Lee Smith, one of the investors hoping to sell the land to David Shterenberg of Steren Electronics, said the development of the land must begin no later than June.

Development cannot begin until the Calexico Planning Commission and Calexico City Council sign off on tentative maps and impact studies for the project.

The Planning Commission could decide in upcoming weeks to withhold approval and require more studies, according to Tom DuBose, an El Centro development consultant.

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If the maps and plan are not approved before the June deadline, escrow on the sale of the land will not close and Shterenberg will invest somewhere else, Smith said.

The maps and plans that Shterenberg has had drawn up are for an industrial park and an RV/mobile home park.

DuBose's firm has commissioned impact studies, including a traffic study, for the proposed developments.

Other landowners in the area have begun planning housing developments that would work well with the two parks Shterenberg is planning, DuBose added.

Those projects would be new communities of more than 300 single-family houses on two 80-acre parcels.

Mayor Javier Alatorre said Thursday that Calexico would like to see more business and housing but the City Council will make sure the developments are "the best thing for the city" before signing off on them.

Shterenberg's firm, Steren Electronics, is an international electronics company with 47 locations in Mexico and California.

Its headquarters in San Diego are in a building similar to the one the company plans to build in the Calexico area.

Smith could not predict how many and what sort of jobs the industrial park would supply but he said such developments are exactly what the city has sought.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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