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Case Studies Downey Landing
Downey, CA

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Downey Landing
SEC Lakewood Boulevard & Stewart and Gray Road
Downey, California

Project Description

Downey Landing is an approximately 162 acre re-development of the former NASA/Boeing property in Downey California. This project consists of approximately 400,000 square feet of retail, 800,000 square feet of motion picture movie studios and business offices, and approximately 1,800,000 square feet of medical offices, corporate offices, and a Kaiser Hospital facility. Retail tenants include: Best Buy, Staples, Marshalls, Michaels, Bed Bath & Beyond, DSW, PetsMart, Old Navy, Chili’s, Elephant Bar and many others.

Special Circumstances

The development required the vision to write a Specific Plan for an entire 162 acre integrated development with historical buildings and environmental issues. The site had a number of buildings noted as “historical” based not only on architectural significance, but the significance of events that took place on-site that shaped our country’s space program. The 162 acre site had, in recent history, become a blemish on an otherwise quaint and pleasant community. The City was looking for a developer who not only had the technical skills to pull off the total redevelopment and re-use of the site, but the vision to make it something that was deserving of a property and City with such a profound history. During the early discovery phase of site conditions, it was determined that a large environmental condition existed and Eclipse Development Group was charged with the coordination of clean-up between the City of Downey, the Federal Government and the privatized environmental company. Environmental characterization took close to three years and the actual clean-up process may span many decades to come. We at Eclipse certainly feel pride in the ability to deliver the City such a spectacular project in a relatively short period of time that will impact and improve the tax base of the City for many years.

Original Permitted Land Use(s) and outcome of entitlement process

Because the site had originally been used by the Federal Government for manufacturing and industrial uses it had never been part of the City’s general Plan. It had also never been on the City’s tax rolls or frankly benefited the city in any way other than job generation and the population created specifically by those workers employed by the facility. The site had been used, dating back to the 1930’s as a fixed wing manufacturing plant and more recently as a NASA training and operations facility. Originally the City was looking for a major portion of the development to be a business park and a re-use of a number of the existing structures for office or other commercial uses. The early plans presented by the City accounted for only a small retail component which would have contributed very little in sales tax revenue to the City. Upon the completion of the Specific Plan by Eclipse Development Group in conjunction with Kaiser Hospital the business park component was greatly reduced and the retail site was more than doubled to account for market demands. Fortunately for the City this meant a substantial increase in tax revenue. Once the Specific Plan and EIR were complete the project had four distinct components; approximately 45 acres of retail, 72 acres of medical office and hospital for Kaiser Hospital expansion, approximately 35 acres of office/business park and roughly 10 acres for a park and future planned museum to respect and honor the people that worked on the site in its early days and contributed to the success of the NASA programs that took us to the moon and gave us the Space Shuttle. We feel the work Eclipse Development group did working with the State, the City and the Federal Government in completing the Specific Plan had tremendous benefits to all parties and created income for the City on a property that had been a black hole on the tax roll.

Description of Planning Process

Once the EIR and Specific Plan were approved, the actual planning and implementation of the planning phase moved fairly quickly. Eclipse Development Group and the City were able to work through impact fees and mitigation measures around the site to create the least amount of disruption and impact on the local community. Today, Downey Landing sits as a reminder that a true vision coupled with highly motivated, skilled professionals can transform the bleakest of situations into something a community can be proud to have as part of their everyday lives.

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