Pulido Meets with Piazza Developer

The City Manager and Randy Wang discuss the status of the project.

Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published January 7, 2010

City Manager Jose Pulido on Thursday announced that he recently met with Piazza developer Randy Wang.

The purpose of the meeting was “to discuss the status of the Piazza project and the next steps to successfully develop this prominent site with a quality commercial center,” the city manager wrote in his April 8, 2010 weekly report.

According to Pulido, Wang and his team are considering a scaled down project, as compared to the previous plans for a large retail center.

“[They] agreed to seriously consider the possibility of developing a smaller scale single-story commercial project…due to the lack of financing in this down economy,” he said.

About four years ago, the City Council gave its nod to the Piazza developer’s plans to create the “Piazza at Temple City,” then known as the “Temple City Galleria” and later renamed “Piazza Las Tunas.”

Wang’s proposed development was expected to bring in nearly a million dollars in annual revenues. It had included plans for a banquet facility and the controversial 52 one-bedroom condominiums.

In 2008, the city of Temple City sued Wang in anticipation of a breach of contract. Wang countersued the City, alleging that city officials had solicited bribes from him.

A settlement to resolve the lawsuits was reached in February. As a result, the legal documents signed between the Piazza developer and the City were voided.

Still, the controversy stemming from Wang’s countersuit lingers.

Last month, former Temple City Mayor Judy Wong resigned her seat on the City Council. At that time, Wong stated she was giving up her seat in order to spend more time focusing on her legal defense.

Like Wong, former Temple City Mayor Cathé Wilson also faces bribery charges. Wilson was denied re-election in 2009.

Today, the corner of Las Tunas Drive and Rosemead Boulevard remains vacant and filled with overgrown vegetation.

Both Wang and city’s staff plan on meeting at the end of this month, Pulido said.

“All parties agreed to schedule a follow-up meeting near the end of April 2010,” the city manager stated.

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