Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Skate Park Needs to Relocate So Site Developer Can Prep for New Center

• Assistance and Funding Are Offered to Expedite Move

BY BILL KOENEKER


Steve Soboroff, who heads up the proposed “Whole Foods in the Park” shopping center in the Civic Center, announced this week he notified Malibu city officials of a 90-day termination of the agreement under which the skate park is currently operated by the municipality.
Soboroff offered a caveat and said that if the city council wanted to keep the park in its present location, he would allow for the operation of the skate park for another year at no cost to the city. There was no mention of the matter at this week’s council meeting.
“The [skate park] property is sitting where Whole Foods is going,” he noted. “Whole Foods won’t go there if the skate park is there. Skate parks need to be in a park.”
Soboroff, who insisted, “This is not a bad guy thing,” said he is willing to offer his expertise and money, $25,000, to help relocate the skate park. Soboroff, an advocate of public recreation, is a former commissioner of the parks and recreation department for the City of Los Angeles.
The shopping center proposal is at the start of the Environmental Impact Report review, which takes about nine months to a year before there are any permit hearings. “I don’t want challenges then,” said Soboroff, who estimates Whole Foods should be operating by 2014.
The site is located at 23401 Civic Center Way. Planners indicate that the shopping center proposal includes additional community and visitor-oriented commercial tenant spaces, outdoor dining and pedestrian and open space amenities.
The project is proposed for two parcels totaling 5.88 acres on the northwest corner of Civic Center Way and Cross Creek Road where the skate park is currently located.
The proposal consists of about 38,425 square feet of commercial space in five buildings, including a 25,540-square-foot Whole Foods Market building, and 13,878 square feet of additional retail space in four separate detached structures.
Plans indicate approximately 64,942 square feet of the site would be dedicated to landscape and open space, including courtyards, an accessible play area with a playground, a number of water features, and extensive native plantings.
Rather than construct its own onsite wastewater treatment plant, Soboroff proposes hooking up the new center to the city’s planned wastewater treatment plant, assuming it is then operational.
“That is required by the state,” he said, when asked if he was opting for a lengthier timetable.
He said he believes there will be a plant online by 2015.

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