YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Northgate Plaza delayed?

February 16, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Depending on whom you ask, the city of El Centro might have lost a $500,000 federal infrastructure grant — administered by the state — for Northgate Plaza.

Meanwhile, the under-construction Holiday Inn Express is late but nearing completion.

Northgate is to be the new home of El Centro Motors and a Food 4 Less grocery store.

Bill Pavao, state deputy director of the Department of Housing and Community Development's division of community affairs, said the National Environmental Policy Act must be completed before any work may begin.

"It appears the project got under way and can now not get the funding," he said, adding the state is sympathetic with the city's loss of the money, but that the state must follow federal Housing and Urban Development requirements. He said the state is working with city officials to replace the money, though it might be through a loan instead of a grant.


The developer, Geary Coats of Monterey-based Coats Consulting, said he has received a letter by a Pavao colleague stating what the developer has done — weed removal and berm replacement — are acceptable, especially since they have been done in the past.

"We haven't done anything," Coats said, adding that once the NEPA process is completed, in about 60-90 days, he expects the grant to be reinstated. "It is not that final."

Coats said what was done was ongoing weed removal, and a berm that was removed to allow vehicles to park on the site at last October's ground-breaking ceremony was replaced.

In a related matter, Oscar Rodriquez, El Centro director of economic development, said a traffic signal slated for Imperial Avenue at Cruickshank Road will be discussed at a meeting between the city and state Department of Transportation officials later this month. He said approval of the signal is expected to be obtained then.

Regarding the Holiday Inn Express on Smoketree Drive, it should be completed by the first part of April, according to its owner, Nick Patel

He said there have been some delays, but things are back on track.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles