In front of an audience of Temple City residents, A & W Project Manager Louie Aurelio, read a letter from Randy Wang to the City Council and Community Redevelopment Agency on January 15, 2008. Wang, developer of the controversial mixed-use development, “The Piazza at Temple City”, addressed several concerns the Piazza project was facing at the moment.
“The residential sector is in deep water” wrote Wang. At the previous City Council meeting, A & W Builders, the construction management firm for the Piazza, announced the Piazza development was in a financial mess. The current plan is to scrap the residential condominiums and replace them with office/medical condos.
In his letter, Wang noted that the total project costs amounted to $75 million dollars. Besides a primary bank, the Piazza project will require four to eight additional banks to fund the development. The developer is negotiating with Far East Bank, East West Bank, and Bank of East Asia.
In addition, the banks desire certain conditions to be fulfilled before granting any loans: a new plan for the Piazza approved by the City of Temple City, preleasing the project by at least 30%, a new appraisal for the project, and an extension of the project completion date.
“While the final outcome may be promising, the process in getting to the finish line is the biggest challenge” wrote Wang.
Wang further requested a twenty-four month extension, from August 2009 to August 2011, without penalties in order to complete The Piazza at Temple City.
The Piazza at Temple City is to be built on the corner of Rosemead Boulevard and Las Tunas Drive. The project originally was named the “Temple City Galleria” and “Piazza Las Tunas.” It was approved by the previous City Council in May 2006.
In October 2007, the City Council reluctantly agreed to several “minor” changes to the development.
According to the developer’s agreement with the City of Temple City, the project must be completed by August 23, 2009.
“It is certain that I am determined to exhaust all avenues to make the Piazza a reality” concluded Wang.
In closed session, the City Council decided to retain special legal counsel to represent the City regarding the Piazza matter.
This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published by the Temple City Voice on May 21, 2008.