Imperial Center Gets Community Benefit Loan
BY MARIO CONDE
The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a Community Benefit Program Loan with the Pacificland International for the Imperial Center Regional Center Project.
The Imperial County Supervisors met at their regular meeting Tuesday to consider a request for a community benefit program loan from Pacific International Development for the last phase of its Imperial Regional Center Project in the amount $2 million.
Pacificland International Development acquired approximately 80 acres for the commercial development of the Imperial Center. The project is located at the intersection of Hwy 111 and Heber Road. The Imperial Center is expected to have retail center with shopping stores and a distribution center.
The Imperial Center currently consists of five restaurants, a wholesale mart, and an AM/PM Arco gas station. This completed portion of the Imperial Center employs more than 150 employees. The Imperial Center pays the County annually an excess of $250,000 in property and business taxes and more than $200,000 in sales taxes.
When the second phase is completed, the Imperial Center will be an integrated retail/business park that includes wholesale retail, product exhibition space, gas station, restaurants, children-friendly parks, night-time markets, entertainment performance stage, and hotel. At complete build-out the Imperial Center is expected to provide more than 1,300 jobs.
The Imperial Center Infrastructure Project was funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration through the funding of $2.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
CEO Ralph Cordova said that at this time Pacificland is prepared to begin the second phase but has indicated that it is in the need of gap funding in the amount of $2 million.
“Pacificland has requested that the term of the loan be no longer than nine months and will be secured by the Imperial Center’s property,” Cordova told the Board of Supervisors.
The County Board voted unanimously to approve this Community Benefit Loan and gave direction to the CEO to negotiate the loan with Pacificland consistent with the Community Benefit Program conditioned upon receipt of adequate security.
In other items, the Board of Supervisors approved the creation of a Deputy CEO and two Administrative analysts. The new Deputy CEO position will assist county departments in the day-to-day activities, including with budgets, and assist with grants and special projects and carrying out Board policy as well as provide overall support to the CEO.
The Administrative analyst positions will assist the office with County strategic plan in implementation and the review and assessment of board items, assist County departments as necessary with budgets and the development of policies and procedures as well as prepare grants.
Supervisor Ryan Kelley mentioned that these two new positions have been discussed since last year and that the purpose of opening these positions is to improve the quality of service at the county.