Calexico Grand Plaza Inches Forward; Approval In January?

By Mario Conde
The Calexico Planning Commission began looking at the long awaited Calexico Grand Plaza Outlet Center  project Monday night.
The development has been in the works for many years now and the proposed project will be located on Second Street in Calexico with brand name stores. The Grand Plaza project consists of a 487,600 square foot retail outlet center that would have brand names stores in what is to be the new downtown area next to the new port of entry that will open in 2013. Three years ago, the Redevelopment Agency approved the sale of the UFW Building and the Horacio Luna Gun club.
The project applicant (Charles Company) proposes to develop the site with a total of approximately 561,650 square feet of commercial/retail uses. To accomplish this, the project requires a general plan amendment to change the land use classification from industrial to commercial highway, a zone change for the portions of the site that are currently zoned open space and industrial to commercial highway, a tentative subdivision tract map to divide the project site into six parcels, development review approval subject to the Municipal Code, West 2nd Street road re-alignment and widening, and an Owner Participation and Disposition and Development Agreement with the City of Calexico Redevelopment Agency.
The construction process for the proposed project would consist of two phases. The first phase of
construction would include the development of 12 buildings with approximately 241,625 square
feet of building area and a storage/maintenance building with 6,400 square feet. Phase I would be developed on the eastern side of the project site and is proposed for construction. Phase II would include the development of 12 buildings with approximately 320,025 square feet of building area and a storage/maintenance building with approximately 6,400 square feet on the western side of the project site. Construction of Phase II is proposed to begin and end within six years of the Phase I construction start date.
The project applicant’s goal is to construct an upscale outlet retail center mixed with conventional large-scale retail uses. The project design clusters the retail stores in a central location with a “runway” layout for ease of access and includes flexibility to allow for tenants of various sizes. The project would include areas for a food court and out parcels that could accommodate sit-down restaurants.
City Staff asked the Board to continue the public hearing of the Grand Plaza to January 2012 as per the request of the R.H. Properties, LLC that represent the Grand Plaza project in order to provide necessary additional time to resolve remaining issues regarding the update of the Traffic Impact Analysis prepared by infrastructure engineers.