Council Halts Piazza Project

The Piazza Las Tunas project has been halted by the City Council while the Council considers the changes being proposed by the construction management firm, A & W Builders.

The Piazza Las Tunas mixed-use development was approved by a previous Council in May 2006. In recent months, the Temple City City Council and Temple City residents have expressed frustration and disappointment that construction has yet to begun.

At the special City Council meeting and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting on September 25, 2007, the Piazza team proposed eight modifications ranging from a name change to a reduction in the number of parking stalls.

One of the first changes discussed was the name of the project. “For a developer, the project’s name means a whole lot. It is like deciding what name to give your child” said Louie Aurelio, Senior Project Manager for A & W Builders.

On September 4, the Piazza management team expressed a preference in changing the name from Piazza Las Tunas to Temple City Spectrum.

Nevertheless, on September 25, much opposition was formed against the name change. “When you are born you are given a name and you don’t change it in the middle” stated Councilwoman Cathé Wilson.

Councilmember Dave Capra agreed, “Spectrum is too generic.”

Councilmember Fernando Vizcarra and Mayor Judy Wong cited their preference in retaining the name Piazza, whereas, Mayor Pro Tempore Ken Gillanders stated “A name is pretty much a name.”

Without support for a change in name, the City Council voted unanimously to deny the name of Temple City Spectrum and retain the name of Piazza.

The second change presented by the Piazza team involved the location of the banquet facility. The location of the banquet facility was a simple decision for the council members. It was approved unanimously without much opposition.

The third change involved removing a greenbelt of trees and replacing the trees with vines. Only one councilmember was opposed to the change.

“This is the first change that is in direct contradiction to what was told to the residents of Myda and Hermosa” stated Councilmember Vizcarra. Vizcarra cast the sole dissenting vote on approval of the change. The change was approved 4-1.

David Wilson, President of A & W Builders, then shared his concerns with the Council. He stated that many other cities were competing for the same tenants as the Piazza.

The next item up for discussion was the fabric membrane for the project. It was suggested to be discussed after the following item regarding increasing the height limits for the project.

Although this news story happened a few months ago, the Temple City Voice published this article to show the significance of the project to Temple City. Because of the length of the article, it was decided that the second part would be published the following week.

This article was written by Matthew Wong. It was published in the Temple City Voice on December 12, 2007.


One comment

  1. Angela

    I never knew that that intersection had the potential for such a great view of our mountains so I really don’t mind keeping this view while the city council reviews the progress (request for changes) of this development (as they should). Once this project gets finished, traffic will definitely get impacted there, and while I’m all for great urban design, I don’t think this “piazza” or “spectrum” is gonna help make the area look great. It’ll help the city’s tax revenue coffers, but it’s not like the development will enhance the area in a unique and memorable way.

    Anyway, as consolation for taking away our mountain view, I’d be really in favor of the developers adding an observation deck to the top of their “speciazza” since their monstrous, bulky development is going to block a great local vista that many of us didn’t know we had.

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