Following the demise of the city’s Redevelopment Agency, the Glendora City Council adopted a new $119,600 Economic Development Plan to help boost and retain business in Glendora.
With funding coming from the city’s General Reserves, as well as money from CDBG funds, the new plan is aimed at encouraging collaboration between businesses, government entities and property owners, to increase the local tax base and create jobs.
The plan passed 4-0 during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, with Mayor Gene Murabito excusing himself from the vote because of business relationships with several affiliates.
City Manager Chris Jeffers said the loss of the city’s Redevelopment Agency left a void in the city’s ability to maintain and attract businesses in Glendora.
“Part of our strategic plan was to develop an action plan that would define our vision and purpose to strengthen our commercial sector in Glendora,” said Jeffers. He said the loss of the redevelopment agency created a reduction in financial resources to attract desirable businesses and assist current businesses with programs such as expansion opportunities.
Not only would the program aim to improve the city’s current economy, but maintain what Jeffers called a healthy business environment in Glendora.
“Our commercial sector is very healthy and very successful,” said Jeffers. “Often people will see a vacant building or storefront and feel that is symbolic of something less than desirable, but a lot of that is the normal cycle of the business.”
According to city documents, there is a less than 2 percent vacancy rate of commercial buildings in Glendora.
Called a “multi-prong” economic plan offering a central support system for businesses and property owners, Jeffers said the plan was dependent on the participation of city departments, business affiliates including the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District and Citrus Valley Association of Realtors, and property owners.
“Property owners will have to want to work with us in order to achieve the goals,” said Jeffers. “At the end of the day if the property owner does not have the same vision or desire, there’s not much left we can do.”
Through collaboration, the plan will focus on business and community needs, providing assistance and incentives for all stakeholders involved.
Incentives and bonuses include job creation programs, building improvements or zoning modifications in exchange for plan participation.
City departments and organizations will have an important role in the coordination of the plan, with the Chamber of Commerce supporting new and existing businesses with marketing and branding.
While Jeffers said all businesses will benefit from the plan, focus will be given to three business areas in the city – the Route 66 Specific Plan area, Glendora Plaza on Grand Avenue and the commercial center at 750 W. Route 66.
Jeffers said the city will interested in moving Route 66 from a “car-centered” corridor to an area taking full advantage to future transit developments and commercial business opportunities. As on Grand Avenue seeks tenants to fill its storefronts, the city will focus on helping the property owners market the plaza to potential businesses. With closing at the plaza at 750 W. Route 66, the new economic plan aims to help the old retail center increase marketability and attract new businesses.
City council members applauded the new program, as well as the collaboration of stakeholders.
“I think this plan is going to be incumbent on our organizations in town to work closely together to and try to be proactive in these things,” said Councilmember Doug Tessitor.