|A very ambitious trolley stop.|
Those in on the big secret back then believed they had a good thing going on, and if it wasn't for that peasant uprising known as Measure V they'd all be happily retired by now. Sitting by a pool somewhere sunny and sweet, far from the scene of the crime. And us, those uncivil folks that ruined it all for them.
They're still here, of course. Like an old debt that keeps showing up on every credit report you've seen over the last ten years, they just keep coming back for more. And just when you thought that perhaps they'd finally moved past what has been nearly ten years of high drama and low moaning, our civic malignancy is at it again, and with an entirely new (though not exactly original) marketing plan.
This time around the DSP is "green." The notion that we had to build it because millions of new residents were coming to California and will need to be housed is no longer operative. An absurd proposition that, had it been heeded in 2007, would have resulted in a downtown not unlike that of the more foolish cities, packed with the kinds of tiny high density condominiums and cheesy storefronts that nobody wants.
How can a transit village be "green" you ask? According to the Sacramento/Arnold (A Man Needs A Maid) Schwarzenegger generated law known as SB 375, situating a large group of small cheaply priced condominiums and shoppettes around a public transportation hub will somehow magically transform greenhouse gas generating auto enthusiasts into dutiful bus riders. Which in our case would have to be the mode of transportation since we don't have trolleys in town anymore.
(Though I do suspect that once a family is situated in low income housing the first thing they would want to do with the money they are saving is buy a car. This still being California and all.)
Here that might still be a dream of some folks making payments on such places as the site formerly known as Howie's, but in Monrovia they have actually bought into this all in a very big way. And you really do have to wonder if perhaps they haven't lost the slim pickings known as their minds.
Monrovia, already the home of such financially challenged, buyer averse and tightly packed developments as "The Commons," has now announced to the world something to be forever known as the 210 Trolley's very own Station Square Transit Village (click here, scroll down). They didn't have enough empty condo space already, so now they will be adding another 3,600 new units to their already generous inventory. Among other things. The property has already been demoed, with many long established businesses now displaced and gone from the area.
Here is how it is all described on this City of Monrovia site:
STATION SQUARE TRANSIT VILLAGE
The Station Square Transit Village is the proposed development surrounding the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension. The proposed transit-oriented development creates compact living, working and visiting within easy walking distance of transit stations. This area is bounded by Evergreen Road to the north, Shamrock Avenue to the east, Duarte Road to the south, and Magnolia Avenue to the west.
There are three phases within Station Square Transit Village:
Phase 1- Located on the block bounded by Evergreen Road (to the North), Myrtle Avenue (to the East), Duarte Road (to the South) and Magnolia Avenue (to the West).
Phase 2- Located on the block bounded by Evergreen Road (to the North), Shamrock Avenue (to the East), Duarte Road (to the South) and California Avenue (to the West).
Phase 3- Located on the block bounded by Evergreen Road (to the North), California Avenue (to the East), Duarte Road (to the South) and Myrtle Avenue (to the West).
Station Square Transit Village is envisioned as interconnected neighborhoods of residences, commercial buildings (high-tech, bio-tech, lab and R&D), offices and hospitality uses (restaurants and hotel) with an emphasis on public space, green space, pedestrian friendly streetscapes, and transportation alternatives. Station Square after full build-out could create 850,000 square feet of commercial office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, 3,600 new living units and 4.35 acres of open space.
The heart of the development would encompass a transit hub including the new Monrovia station, a bus transfer terminal and supporting parking facilities. Additionally, the historic Santa Fe Depot (on site since 1926) will be restored and reopened as a transit store, restaurant or some other public use.
The next time our somewhat jumped-up Green Committee (or whatever it is called) and their development happy and pretty much compromised friends on the City Council begin talking about how they plan to magically transform our downtown area into an SB 375/Arnold Schwarzenegger "vunderland," this is pretty much what what they have in mind.
Minus the train, of course. Our transit village would be built around the kinds of mostly empty Metro buses we see chugging around here now. Which makes the concept even more ridiculous than it already is.
But like I said, the town wreckers are once again on the move. And this time they're painting the DSP green.