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Developer seeks Calexico's help

January 07, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A Los Angeles-based developer looking to build a shopping mall just west of the downtown Port of Entry will ask the City Council for help Tuesday.

The exact dollar amount of the "help" has not been publicly disclosed.

The council, seated as the city Redevelopment Agency board, meets at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 608 Heber Ave.

The developer, Armin Gabay, appeared before the council last summer to ask for a multi-million dollar loan.

Gabay said his firm, M&A Gabay Inc. of Los Angeles, needed the millions to buy city-owned and privately held land near the downtown port and the New River.

Once his firm has the money, Gabay vowed, he would attract retailers to finance the actual construction of the mall.

Gabay planned to build the mall in phases westward, depending on the success of the initial construction.

His firm has bought and then developed formerly blighted land in Los Angeles and Oakland.

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Gabay said he would repay the low-interest loan in 18 months.

The council did not take any formal action on Gabay's request but gave direction to city staffers to negotiate a development agreement with his firm.

After months flew by with no progress in the talks, Mayor Victor Carrillo asked Gabay to give the council something firm to vote on early this year.

Gabay will be joined at Tuesday's meeting by his local representative, Sarah Magaña.

In other business, the RDA board will vote on the appropriation of $235,135 for the completion of Nosotros Park.

The $1.25 million park, which is already open, cost the city $509,000, including the amount yet to be appropriated. State money made up the rest of the budget.

The next project on the agency's slate is a BMX bike park. At Tuesday's meeting, the agency likely will give direction to city staffers to continue working on plans for the park.

According to the agenda, the agency will hear from the Oxnard College Center for International Trade Development, which will ask for assistance in the form of office space to set up a satellite office.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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