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Economic development is humming in Whittier

WHITTIER – A newly-released report confirms what most in Whittier already know: construction is humming here.

That much is clear according to an economic development update provided to the City Council this week. The report is delivered on a quarterly basis by Community Development Director Conal McNamara.

The most recent report covers October through December 2019 and outlines dozens of housing, retail and restaurant projects in various stages of development around Whittier.

The largest housing project mentioned in the report is the proposal to turn the defunct First Christian Church into 100 affordable housing units. Located at Hadley Street and Greenleaf Avenue, the church closed this year due to declining congregation numbers.

A preliminary application seeks to turn the nearly 1-acre property into housing for low-income senior citizens.

Other housing projects detailed in the report:

  • A proposed 26-unit detached residential condominium project at the site of Trinity Lutheran Church, 11716 Floral Dr. City planners are working with the applicant on design changes.

  • A 52-unit residential condominium project at Blue Hills Nursery, 16440 Whittier Blvd. A formal entitlements application is expected to be submitted in October.

  • Eleven single-family homes have been proposed for a vacant lot at 11280 1st Ave. City planners are reviewing the preliminary application to subdivide the property.

  • Plans for a 30-unit apartment complex at 8343 College Ave. were resubmitted to the city.

The Park Place apartments under construction at the former Toyota used car dealership. Photo by Eric Pierce


Other housing complexes already under construction are moving closer to completion, including 32 townhomes on Workman Mill Road and the Park Place Apartments at the former Toyota dealership on Whittier Boulevard.

In addition to housing, the report makes mention of other economic development projects that have either been proposed or are already under construction:

  • Property at 12724 Whittier Blvd., currently the subject of a lawsuit due to people living there illegally, could be redeveloped into a new five-story, mixed-use building, along with a new two-story parking structure.
  • As previously reported by this newspaper, an express car wash is replacing a strip mall at 13001 Lambert Rd.

  • A car wash will also be constructed at 14021 Whittier Blvd., the site of Exclusively Imports. The full-service car wash will measure 3,227 sq. ft., with an additional 3,000 sq. ft. vacuum canopy area.

  • The 76 gas station and convenience store at 13709 Whittier Blvd. will undergo a comprehensive outdoor remodel.

  • La Bodega Brewing Company will start work soon on its micro-brewery and restaurant at 6711 Comstock Ave.

  • Greg’s Auto Body at 12725 Whittier Blvd. has applied to construct a new 3,786 sq. ft. building.

  • Frisco’s carhop was issued permits to construct a drive-thru restaurant at 16460 Whittier Blvd.

  • Construction is nearing completion on Imli, a new Indian restaurant at 7006 Greenleaf Ave.

  • Xtreme Tint, located at 13443 Lambert Rd, has nearly finished its new two-story commercial building next to its current store.

  • The G&M service station at 12559 Lambert Rd. is being demolished and rebuilt.

  • Whittier Area Community Church has broken ground on a new 25,900 sq. ft. worship center.

  • Morningstar Church is remodeling its sanctuary building and adding a second building.

  • Two manufacturing buildings at 12110 Hadley St. are remodeling their facades and making parking lot improvements.

  • Latin restaurant Kalaveras has opened at 13112 Philadelphia St.

  • Flashbackz Lounge & Grill has applied for a permit that would allow it to open at 7013 Greenleaf Ave. with extended operating hours past midnight with the ability to sell beer and wine.

  • A new office/retail building was recently constructed at 10834 Whittier Blvd. The project is awaiting final building approval.

An unidentified market is slated to open at the former Orchard Supply Hardware. Photo by Eric Pierce

The report briefly mentions a new market going into the former Orchard’s Supply Hardware site on Whittier Boulevard but offers scant details.

“An applicant representing a new grocery market concept submitted plans and the tenant name will be shared publicly soon,” the report reads.

City staffers are also working with the property management companies representing Whittwood Town Center and The Quad as both shopping centers “prepare to make changes to their properties in the coming years,” according to the report.

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