Former Factory Could House City's Public-Works Yard

The city has set its sights on a former glassworks factory as the new home for its public-works yard, a necessary move to make a transit village a reality.

Officials have hired an engineering firm to look at using a portion of the 27-acre Saint Gobain plant on Arden Drive near Valley Boulevard to house the public works yard, which is now next to the El Monte Bus Station.

The property housing the plant, which closed more than a year ago, has since been purchased by a developer, said Eugene Moy, the city's redevelopment director.

"It is more than enough for our needs - the current public works yard is about 5 acres," said Moy. "We are having an engineer... evaluate our requirements and what it will cost to adapt the site to that particular use."

The engineering study should be completed within 60 days, Moy said, adding that the city has not ruled out looking at other locations.

The City Council will use the results of the study to decide whether to move forward with purchasing the property.

Moy said it could take a year and cost about $15 million to relocate the yard. Funding for the project could come from a variety of sources, including state grants and private loans.

Meanwhile, the Titan Group, which is the developer for the more than $1 billion Transit Village project, is working with the city to apply for state money from the Proposition 1C bonds approved by voters in 2006.

"We are hopping to attract as much as $50 million over three years in urban infill and transit- oriented development grants," said Bart Doyle, El Monte-based Titan Group's chief operating officer.

Titan and city officials are rushing to meet the state's March deadline for grant applications, Doyle said. They should know whether they get the funds by late June.

"We are focusing on securing money for parks, parking structures and other necessary infrastructure," Doyle said.

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