Thursday, February 28, 2013

Collision Center Completes Modern Renovation of Building

AW Collision Center of Monrovia completely renovated the property at 1875 South Mountain Avenue, giving the building an amazing appearance on the outside and a high tech upgrade on the inside. 

In September 2011, Planning Commission approved the AW Collision of Monrovia project, allowing the business to occupy an industrial building that was built in 1969 and had been vacant for several months. The AW Collision of Monrovia is one of the largest collision repair providers on the west coast and has exclusive agreements with auto dealerships for BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Volvo.

A very dated building has been dramatically changed with the removal of wood siding that covered the windows on the front building façade, the installation of new high quality commercial windows and the addition of two “state of the art” spray booths in the warehouse portion of the building. The final touches with new landscaping and a new coat of paint have brought a very tired piece of property back to life.   


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ornamental Pear Takes Center Stage

The Pyrus calleryanas are in bloom again…

Such a strange tree—suitable to any occasion…

Flowering or Ornamental Pear Tree

Sorry, bad take on a good quote from an old movie.  Hopefully movie geeks will enjoy the humor.

Okay, so a tree is technically not “development”, but tooling around town the past couple of weeks we couldn’t help but notice these trees covered with beautiful white blossoms looking like big snowballs.  Not sure if it was the weather this year or what, but these trees are having a great bloom and we felt that it was worth a blog post. 

Commonly known as a Flowering or Ornamental Pear, this tree is used extensively in landscapes throughout Monrovia.  Look for it in parking lots and parkways.  Most of the year, it’s a workhorse tree that looks good but doesn’t really stand out.  But then comes winter and the Pyrus takes center stage.

Full Steam Ahead for Gold Line

All aboard!  Construction of the Gold Line's Foothill Extension is chugging along, on track to pull into Monrovia’s station in 2015.  We can’t wait!  Now we really understand how those folks at Promontory Summit, Utah must have felt.  Hey, we just realized something…Golden Spike…Gold Line, do you see the similarity?  We certainly do.

Meanwhile, at the 24-acre Gold Line Maintenance and Operations Campus in Monrovia, workers have completed mass grading at the site faster than you could whistle “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”  Maintaining a tunnel vision to project completion, crews are currently relocating utilities and laying foundation work on the main building.

Would you like to keep up with the Gold Line’s Foothill Extension schedule?  Get on board by signing up on their website.

Gold Line Maintenance and Operations Campus

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Planning Commission Update - February 2013

The Planning Commission held their second meeting of the year on February 13, 2013.  If meetings had themes, this one would have fallen under the category “eat, drink and be merry”.  In addition to welcoming back Commissioner Spicer after serving as an interim member of the City Council, the Commission had five scheduled public hearings.  Albeit, one application for a proposed microbrewery at 130 East Walnut Avenue was withdrawn by the applicant.  However, the Planning Staff has been in discussion with the brewmaster who is looking for another suitable location in town.  Stay tuned.

The Commission worked efficiently through the next four hearings, each of which were approved subject to their conditions of approval:

929 West Huntington Drive – Expand service of alcoholic beverages at an existing restaurant from beer and wine to full alcohol.  Oto Oto Izakaya Japonaise has been located at Huntington Crossing for a couple of years now and requested an amendment to their CUP to expand from beer and wine to also include distilled spirits.  Oto Oto has been a great addition to Monrovia’s restaurant row, their jalapeno yellowtail has been known to turn a non-sushi eater into a believer. 

1602 South Myrtle Avenue – Expand an existing service station and construct a new light automotive repair building.  Remember when there used to be a service station on every corner?  Well, for many reasons they are disappearing from the urban landscape leaving vacant corners all over the region.  So we were pleased when the owners of the Union 76 service station told us about their plans to improve and expand their property.  The station was originally built in 1967 and has gone through several modifications over the years.  This proposal will expand the existing convenience store and construct a new three bay automotive repair facility.  The plans also include a major renovation of the existing building and site with additional landscaping which will give the site a fresh look.  The Planning Commission agreed that this will be a positive addition for South Myrtle.

500 West Huntington Drive – Expand service of alcoholic beverages at an existing restaurant from beer and wine to full alcohol.  Sound familiar?  Same request, different restaurant.  Mimi’s Café was one of the original tenants in the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center.  Since their opening in 1985, they have offered beer and wine to their patrons.  As part of a return to their “French roots”, Mimi’s Café is upgrading their beverage offerings to include a full range of alcoholic beverages.  Just keep bringing those bran muffins our way and we’ll be happy.

602 West Huntington Drive – Permit indoor and outdoor service of beer and wine at a new fast food restaurant.  Food, drinks, outdoors…what a great concept.  And speaking of great concepts, we are excited about Smashburger coming to Monrovia.  Currently, the only other L.A. County location is way out on the Westside in Culver City.  Smashburger will be one of four new restaurants in the new building that will take the place of Acapulco.

Closing out the meeting, Community Development Director Steve Sizemore gave a status update of the Plan Monrovia process. 

Lots of good things coming Monrovia’s way…subscribe.   

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monrovia's First Microbrewery Opening in May

Let's raise our glasses in a toast to the City's very first microbrewery.  Thanks to approval of the Planning Commission at their January 9th meeting, the “Pacific Plate Brewing Company" will be located at 1999 South Myrtle Avenue.  Expected to open in May, business operations at this industrial location will include the production of specialty beers, an area where customers can sample the beer, and guided tours which will include viewing of equipment and an explanation of the brewing process. Customers will be able to order 4 oz. taster flights or 16 oz. pint glasses in the tasting rooms.  And, if customers wish to take home any of these beers, 64 oz. growlers can be purchased.

A typical microbrewery tasting room

Guided tours will include an explanation of microbrewery equipment

The three owners plan on beginning operations by brewing 31 gallons at a time, 5 days a week, reaching a 15 barrel capacity per month.  Within 10 years the owners hope to reach a 100 barrel production capacity per month. Their specialty beers will be distributed to local stores and restaurants.  It's anticipated that production will begin in mid-April and the tasting room will be open to the public in mid-May.