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Applebee's, new hotel coming to Calexico?

October 09, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — This city's planning director said an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and a major hotel chain are looking to build on land north of the Calexico 10 Theatres.

During Monday's city Planning Commission meeting a public hearing was set for Oct. 22 to entertain comments on Raul Estrada's plans to divide his land north of the theater into four lots.

If the commission votes to divide the land after the hearing, Applebee's and the hotel chain would each buy one of the lots from Estrada and the city will develop the streets and infrastructure to access the sites per a prior agreement between Estrada and the city, according to Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa.

In other business, the commission canceled a public hearing on the Calexico International Center project.

According to maps submitted to the commission, the center will include a hotel, executive condominiums, an RV park, senior housing and a gas station on 217 acres near the corner of Highway 111 and Jasper Road.


The commission canceled the hearing at the request of Wen-I Chang, the Burlingame-based developer who has financed the preparation of a master plan, environmental impact report and maps for project.

Chang wrote in a letter to the commission, "Please kindly put off the subject issue for some time to get the development agreement done."

Planning Commissioner Arturo Selwick called the request for a cancellation "very unusual."

"This project has been in the works for three years and now this," Selwick said.

He asked Hinojosa if there was "something more behind this … maybe it's the Twin Towers."

Hinojosa said the negotiation of a development agreement is usually done after a project is approved by the Planning Commission and the city.

A development agreement is a binding agreement between a developer and a city that details exactly which entity will pay for specific infrastructure costs.

By requesting more time for negotiation, Selwick said Chang could ask for concessions from the city.

"Do we have any more money to give? He (Chang) has come before the city and said that he didn't want concessions and now this at the last minute," he said.

Hinojosa said he would try to figure out, "What they're trying to accomplish."

Commissioner Richard Romero said the whole process is backward.

"They're (the developers) putting the cart before the horse," he said.

Chang said Tuesday morning there is "not any problem at all" and he is still looking to build the best possible project.

He added his development consultant said it would take three to four weeks to iron out the details of the development agreement.

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

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