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Ventura County cities ranked #3 for house-flipping!

3. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $78,106
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 535
> Avg. home price: $416,790 (14th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 112

In an area where one in every 62 homes is in foreclosure, news of a decrease in the supply of foreclosure filings must seem like welcome news to the local housing market. Still, the greater Ventura area is highly appealing to house flippers because the heavily discounted properties are sold quickly for significant gross profits, according to RealtyTrac data. The housing market of Ventura’s metropolitan region, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura MSA, was one of the biggest decliners in the country, falling by 43.6% from its peak in the first quarter of 2006, the median home price in the area fell by 43.6%.

Read more: The Best Cities to Flip a House - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/10/09/the-best-cities-to-flip-a-house/#ixzz2Bz1U36sn
http://247wallst.com/2012/10/09/the-best-cities-to-flip-a-house/3/
 

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Officials look at possible expansion of Santa Monica Mountains park

National Park Service officials say they want the public's help as they look at possibilities for expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Two years ago, the agency started a four-year study about whether the park should expand into a network of private and public lands in the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi and Conejo valleys. Called the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study, the work was authorized by Congress, and officials released some initial findings this fall.

Those findings include four possible alternatives that range from taking no action to vastly expanding the park to add recreational opportunities and protection of natural resources.

The proposals are only a starting point for more discussion and can be altered or eliminated, park service officials said.

"These are just preliminary concepts at this point," said Anne Dove, the study's project manager. "We're interested in hearing if there are things people ... would like to see improved upon or if they have whole new ideas."

(Interactive Map: Rim of the Valley Corridor Study)

The review studies a 660,000-acre area that includes a patchwork of land use and landownership patterns, Dove said. About half the area already falls within current park boundaries and the Angeles National Forest.

Park service officials say that even with an expansion, any purchase of private land would be "very small" and only with willing sellers. The service has no regulatory authority over land it does not own, officials said.

The agency published its initial findings in a newsletter this fall after holding workshops in 2010, taking in more than 2,000 written comments and conducting a preliminary review of the area and its resources. Officials are getting feedback on the findings during a second round of workshops this month.

Jim Hines, a representative of the Los Padres chapter of the Sierra Club, said he thinks the park service seems to be on the right track. He was one of about a dozen people at the first meeting, held in Thousand Oaks last week.

Hines wants the park expanded to include a 600,000- to 700,000-acre corridor that extends from the Angeles National Forest to Los Padres National Forest and down to the ocean in Malibu. Such a boundary would provide corridors for wildlife migration but also greatly expand opportunities for recreation and education, he said.

"We owe it to the future generations to keep this migration corridor alive," Hines said.

Of the four alternatives proposed by the agency, one focuses on linking those areas, widening the park area from the hillsides east of Camarillo to the western border of the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles.

The expanded area, however, would include land burned by at least five major fires in the past decade, and that raises concerns for Ventura County Fire Department officials, said fire Capt. Brendan Ripley, who also attended last week's meeting.

Activities such as cattle grazing and controlled burns are used by local property owners and the Fire Department to lower the risk of wildfires, Ripley said. If a boundary change would curb those types of activities, "that's our concern," he said.

County fire officials don't oppose a boundary change but want to discuss the issues with park service officials, Ripley said. He added that he got a call from the agency the day after the meeting and that officials seemed open to such talks.

The possibility of new boundaries is still a long way off. Once alternatives are refined, the park service will study issues such as financial considerations and effects on the environment and local communities.

By seeking input now, the agency can gauge whether it's on track "before we invest that additional time and work," Dove said.

Even after a long review process, only one-quarter to one-third of studies lead the park service to recommend action. Even if officials recommend expansion, Congress would have to authorize it.

Officials plan to use public comments to refine alternatives, which will be analyzed before a draft report is released in 2014. At that point, the public again will get a chance to comment before a final report is completed.

To get involved

For more information on the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study, visit http://www.nps.gov/pwro/rimofthevalley.

National Park Service officials ask that comments be submitted by Jan. 7. They can be submitted at the website or by email to [email protected]. Comments also can be mailed to the National Park Service, 570 W. Avenue 26, Suite 175, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

The next public meeting scheduled in Ventura County will be from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Moorpark Community Center, 799 Moorpark Ave.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/12/officials-look-at-possible-expansion-of-santa/#ixzz2C3tEkc93
- vcstar.com
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/12/officials-look-at-possible-expansion-of-santa/
 

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Residents team with city to draft growth plan for west Ventura

This area needs a legit growth plan
Eclectic, diverse and full of personality are ways some residents proudly describe west Ventura.

Disorganized, unregulated and perhaps messy are descriptions city planners might use instead.

But regardless of how one views Ventura's original neighborhood, the city is moving to finish plans that will help shape development there in the decades to come.

The Westside Community Plan and Development Code dominated discussion last week for the Westside Community Council, the neighborhood group working closely with the city to get the neighborhood it wants.

The city's Design Review Committee spent four hours Wednesday night looking at the latest draft before deciding to revisit it in December.

Residents and city officials agreed the plan, which incorporates several of dozens of suggestions solicited early this year, is almost there.

The plan is "very close to feeling functional," committee member Brian Brodersen said.

"I think the value of the plan is really about connections and creating some great public spaces," Brodersen said.

Residents for months have advocated for a plan that reflects their desires for more parks, better access to the Ventura River and buildings that don't tower over the neighborhood and destroy mom-and-pop businesses.

The city is on track to creating a park, having voted this year to pursue the acquisition of 2.4 acres off Kellogg Street and Ventura Avenue.

The plan could go further, westside resident Lori Steinhauer told the committee Wednesday.

"The patios and postage stamps and private areas that can be classified as parks do not meet our open space," she said.

The plan wouldn't add bike lanes to Ventura Avenue, the busiest street in the area, because it is too narrow.

Rachel Morris, a west Ventura resident and executive director of Ventura Climate Care Options Organized Locally, requested that Cedar Street be turned into exclusively a bicycle path.

Plans call for Cedar to be extended along much of the length of the avenue to create a parallel thoroughfare.

The street likely would not be limited to cyclists and walkers, though, because vehicles must be allowed when state funds are used to complete the work, city Planning Manager Dave Ward said.

Members of the Design Review Committee said even if the street is open to all traffic, the emphasis should be on bike lanes where possible."The connectivity's really important and will take pressure off the Ventura Avenue corridor," member David Ferrin said.

Martha Picciotti, another member, said, "I think there's an opportunity to create green space there, and whatever can be done to make that happen" should be done.

West Ventura has so much to offer, including the hillside, ocean and river, Brodersen said, and anything the plan could do to strengthen those connections would be a benefit.

The new version of the plan would ease restrictions on nonconforming uses, allowing up to 50 percent of a building to be altered without having to comply with the new code. The earlier draft had a 20 percent maximum, which some residents had argued discouraged business growth.

It also eliminated the stipulation that called for all nonconforming uses to cease operation in five years. Businesses have lobbied heavily against this component.

Art Troll, newly elected council chairman, thanked city officials for the Soho Apartments as "an example of what we do not want."

Even though the complex at 1150 N. Ventura Ave. was meant to be 3½ stories, it's closer to five because it's on a podium, Troll said.

"We need to scale down some of the structures we do have," he said, arguing for tighter restrictions on height.

The new plan would reduce the maximum building height to 3½ stories from five along Ventura Avenue.

Resident Mike Barton said the plan was in keeping with the character that exists on the Avenue.

"Those large buildings can go in right now. The plan I see scales that back," Barton said. "I also don't see this code making people come in here and invest in the west side."

Ferrin agreed, saying the plan in many ways would let the area stay as is.

"Obviously, you can tell the Avenue hasn't been controlled at all in its history," Ferrin said.

The design committee oversees setbacks, building heights, parking, landscaping and other issues. It will meet again in December to finish its recommendations, which will go to the Planning Commission, along with those made by the committees on historic preservation and parks and recreation.

The Planning Commission will consider the project in January and forward its recommendations to the City Council.

Committee Chairman Tyson Cline said some points must be refined and others must be clarified, but "I don't think there's major revisions."


Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/15/residents-team-with-city-to-draft-growth-plan/#ixzz2Civbogt8
- vcstar.com
 

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Face-lift planned for former Target site in Oxnard

The construction renaissance under way in north Oxnard could soon spread, with major plans for an empty Target store and other buildings on Esplanade Drive.

A busy Food 4 Less is about the only sign of life at a 14.5-acre center off Vineyard Avenue next to the Esplanade Shopping Center. A 1960s building that had a Target store has been vacant since July 2011, when a new Target opened in The Collection at RiverPark, just over Highway 101. A former 24 Hour Fitness building, vacant since January 2009, sits at the northwestern end of the site.

Developers plan to demolish the old Target and build an 84,000-square-foot Food 4 Less in its place, adding a 14-pump gas station. The existing Food 4 Less and 24 Hour Fitness buildings would be remodeled, with two retail buildings going up beside the old Food 4 Less.

The revamped center would mirror the style of the Esplanade across the street, said Ashley Golden, principal planner with the city.

"It's a nice fit for the site," she said.

The Kroger Co., parent company of Food 4 Less, Ralphs and other grocery chains, is developing the project. The Kroger representative working with the city could not be reached Tuesday or Wednesday, and no overall cost estimates were available.

The project will go to the Oxnard Planning Commission on Thursday night and later to the City Council for a final decision.

Buildings in the remodeled center would total nearly 160,000 square feet. That's less than the current setup of nearly 177,500 square feet. The empty Target's footprint, for one, would shrink from to 84,000 square feet from its current 117,500 square feet.

Plans call for the project to be completed in 62 weeks, with phased progress allowing for seamless operation of Food 4 Less as it moves locations.

Golden said other tenants haven't been identified.
Juan Carlo/The Star A vantage point offers a view of the current Food 4 Less and old Target buildings in Oxnard. Developers want to tear down the old Target and build a shopping center anchored by a new Food 4 Less.

Photo by Juan Carlo, Ventura County Star

Juan Carlo/The Star A vantage point offers a view of the current Food 4 Less and old Target buildings in Oxnard. Developers want to tear down the old Target and build a shopping center anchored by a new Food 4 Less.

The renovation would add to other activity at Oxnard's northern end. Commercial construction at The Collection has restarted after a lull. The Century RiverPark 16 movie theater complex opened late last month, and a crop of new restaurants also opened, with more on the way. Whole Foods and REI stores are considering spring openings there, and an affordable-housing project in RiverPark has hammers flying.

On the other side of the freeway across from the Esplanade, plans to redevelop the Wagon Wheel property are moving ahead, with work possibly starting soon on a 120-unit affordable-housing project.

In the Esplanade Shopping Center, a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened Wednesday, and Dick's Sporting Goods debuted in September.

"We're finally starting to see signs the economy is in an upswing," said Oxnard Councilman Bryan MacDonald, citing the recent increase in home sales as well as commercial projects. "I think it's great."

The Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 305 W. Third St.
- vcstar.com
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/14/facelift-planned-for-former-target-site-in/

I was hoping that this area would get another tower or an urban park, since it is in a prime location to downtown and the freeway. However, it seems that it will instead become an extension of the Esplanade across the street.
 

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State denies funding for Oxnard's Wagon Wheel, Thousand Oaks auto mall projects

Looks like a major setback for developing the Wagon Wheel area, which was expected to begin construction in early 2013. :down:

Two big projects — an affordable housing complex in Oxnard's Wagon Wheel area and a 300-space parking expansion at the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall — have been at least temporarily derailed by the state-ordered dismantling of redevelopment agencies.

City officials learned late Tuesday night that the state Department of Finance denied key elements of both projects.

In Oxnard, that meant no-go for a $15.3 million loan, a significant chunk of the roughly $40 million affordable housing project.

"It's a big blow," said Curtis Cannon, Oxnard's community development director.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/19/state-denies-funding-for-major-projects-in-and/#ixzz2FbJiiQvg
- vcstar.com
 

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^^ Yeah that's pretty much the story for redevelopment projects across the state.

In other news
Squid sculpture part of proposed facelift for Ventura Harbor
By Stephanie Hoops
Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:36 a.m.

The Ventura Harbor Commission considered initial concept drawings for the first phase of what might become a major overhaul to the Ventura Harbor Village.

The drawings, prepared by the RRM Design Group of San Luis Obispo and San Clemente, are a first step toward modernizing the village, which hasn't had an update in 25 years. It would incorporate a new amphitheater, signage, repaving, seating areas around fire pits and most notably, a sculpture of a giant squid in the hopes of creating a memorable "wow factor" that encourages return visits.

One of the tenants in attendance commented that he didn't like the squid idea, but the commissioners emphasized that they won't be ready to go forward with the project until they meet with stakeholders, take public comments and do a thorough budget analysis to see if it's affordable.

"What we really need this evening is the sense that we're moving in a healthy direction," said Chairman, Nicholas Deitch.

The initial estimated cost for the first phase of the project is approximately $3 million.
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/20/ventura-harbor-may-get-a-facelift/
 

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California Welcome Center in Oxnard prepares for move to the Collection

After six years of anticipation and negotiation, the California Welcome Center in Oxnard plans to move to The Collection at RiverPark in June. Janet Sederquist, president and CEO of the Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau, which oversees the center, said the move from 1000 Town Center Drive will increase the exposure of Ventura County's merchants, vendors and attractions. "It will be a whole different dynamic across the street," said Sederquist, who will reduce her role to part-time this month and step away in April to start her own business. "Right now we get the traveler coming in off the highway. They see the signs, and they are coming in specifically for visitor information. In a shopping center, you're getting shoppers, you're getting locals, and you're getting regional people coming in from a local standpoint." In spring 2006, the visitors bureau won a statewide bid to open and operate the California Welcome Center at The Collection, but the location became unobtainable when construction halted due to economic reasons. "We stopped construction a couple years ago because of a slowdown in the economy," said Andres Friedman, vice president of Shea Properties, the managing partner of The Collection. "Soon after Target opened in the summer of 2011, we started seeing more of an interest from other clients, and at that time we felt the economy was taking a turn for the better, so we decided to push forward with the construction of the center." Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/03/california-welcome-center-in-oxnard-prepares-for/#ixzz2H18NEvRA - vcstar.com

Good news for the River Park development
 

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Plan to set up enterprise zon in Oxnard and Port Hueneme



The Kmart in South Oxnard closed five years ago, and now the strip mall where it stood is completely abandoned, every storefront boarded up.

But there was a cluster of cars in the parking lot on Monday, perhaps for the first time in years. State and local officials and business leaders chose this as the backdrop for an announcement they hope will breathe new life into the poorest parts of Oxnard and Port Hueneme, by offering companies tax breaks if they do business in the area and hire its residents.

"We want to transform centers like this into prosperous job centers," Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn said.

Flynn and other local elected officials stood alongside Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, as he discussed a bill that he introduced Friday to establish a new state enterprise zone for Oxnard and Port Hueneme. It's the latest step in a four-year quest by local leaders to establish Ventura County's first enterprise zone.

Businesses located in the zone would be eligible for state tax credits and other incentives, chief among them a credit of $37,440 for hiring eligible workers, including people who are out of work and those who live in high-poverty areas. Companies could also get a sales tax credit on up to $20 million per year in equipment purchases, and favorable tax treatment on property depreciation and carrying forward net operating losses.

The enterprise zone, the 41st in the state, would cover most of Port Hueneme and large sections of central, southern and northeastern Oxnard. The exact boundaries haven't been set, though state law requires that they cover census tracts that have particularly high levels of poverty and unemployment.
Read more at: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/21/area-officials-believe-enterprise-zone-would-and/
 

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Medical center addition OK'd as part of $360 million bond issue


The Board of Supervisors approved the largest known bond issue in county government history Tuesday, with most of the $360 million going toward a $305 million addition to Ventura County Medical Center.

A 120-bed wing will be built on what is now a parking lot behind the Ventura hospital. Officials say the three-story structure will meet state requirements for seismic safety and provide the facilities to deliver modern, high-quality medical care well into the future. It is scheduled to break ground in the summer and be completed in 2017.

“This is a great day,” hospital administrator Cyndie Cole said after the board’s unanimous vote.

The bond issue also will pay for refinancing of several capital projects in other county agencies and a debt service reserve fund. Voter approval is not required for the bonds, which will be bought by investors and repaid over 30 years from county revenue, county officials said.

No one spoke against the project before supervisors decided to issue the bonds. Managers say the timing is right, with construction costs competitive and interest rates low.

They also learned Tuesday that the county’s credit rating had improved. Chief Financial Officer Paul Derse said that will reduce borrowing costs by more than $1 million a year.

The project is expected to generate 300 construction jobs at its peak, with more than half of them expected to go to local residents.

A community meeting Monday night on the construction project drew fewer than 12 area residents.

At a similar meeting about the project two years ago, neighborhood residents expressed anxiety about the height of the new wing and the possibility it would block their views.

Several of the hospital neighbors at Monday’s meeting said they were pleased with design changes made by the county to address community concerns.

“The anxiety level has gone down,” community member Jackie Moran said.

She compared the process of gathering and reacting to community input favorably to the battle over the building of the five-story Family Medicine Residency and Specialty Care Center. That complex opened on the Ventura County Medical Center campus in 2010.

The new wing will encompass 232,000 square feet. The project is driven by changing state seismic standards but also is an opportunity to build facilities that replace services offered in buildings built in the 1920s and 1950s. The old buildings will remain and might be used for offices and other functions.
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/05/vcmc-construction-meeting-brings-sparse-turnout/

With the county's improved credit rating, look for the area to refinance more bonds to save money, and hopefully use that money for capital and development improvements!
 

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Judge approves loan for Wagon Wheel housing project

Looks like the Wagon Wheel project is back on track! Score for Oxnard!

A years-long roller coaster ride through limbo ended Thursday afternoon for 100 or so families living in Oxnard's Wagon Wheel Trailer Lodge following a Sacramento judge's ruling.

It was good news for most of the mobile home park residents: A project to relocate them to a new affordable housing complex will go forward.

"I feel happy," said Enedina Rivera, a 25-year park resident who lives with her husband and three children.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley's decision concerned a recent legal case arising from the statewide dissolution of redevelopment agencies.

A loan of up to $15.3 million promised in 2010 by Oxnard's former redevelopment agency was blocked by the state Department of Finance in December. The move caught developers and city staff by surprise because the state had OK'd the deal in previous reviews.
Wagon Wheel housing project

The developer sued, initially winning a temporary restraining order earlier this month. That victory prevented county officials from distributing the money to local entities that receive property taxes formerly routed to Oxnard's redevelopment efforts.

The state had denied the loan because of complex paperwork issues involving changes among the developers involved. The judge Thursday sided with the current developers, saying such shuffling was allowed.

"It's been a long, arduous road," said Carl Renezeder of Oakwood Development Inc. "There will be a lot of people happy because of this."

Officials with the Department of Finance said they could not comment before reviewing the *ruling.

Developers will use $14.3 million of the redevelopment loan plus $18 million in tax-exempt bonds and $10.5 million in tax credits for the roughly $42 million housing project. The five-building, 120-unit complex will go up on empty land near the trailer park, which will be demolished.

The effort is part of a larger $450 million upgrade to the Wagon Wheel area, south of Highway 101 and west of Oxnard Boulevard. The overall project includes 1,500 residential units and 52,000 square feet of commercial space on 64 acres that include the rubble remains of the former Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant.

Construction efforts will be visible within days, Renezeder said, as crews finish long-stalled demolition work in the area and move piles of rubble. He hopes to pull permits for the housing units in the next few weeks and plans on holding a formal groundbreaking. The new complex could be complete, with families relocating in phases, in 18 months or so, he said.
Read more at: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/17/judge-approves-loan-for-wagon-wheel-housing/
 

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Oxnard council to consider developing 107-acre Maulhardt farm field

Looks like the City Council is pushing for some infill residential at the corner of Rose and Camino Del Sol:

One of Oxnard’s last big tracts of vacant land is headed for annexation and future development.

A document going to the City Council on Tuesday night says 402 single-family homes will go on 107 acres of farmland at the northeast corner of Rose Avenue and Camino del Sol.

But Chris Williamson, a principal planner, said those plans are 20 years old and don’t represent what will be built.

“That’s what everybody did 20 years ago,” he said of the plan for the homes and a neighborhood shopping center. “Everybody realizes that’s probably not what’s going to happen.”

Instead, the housing project will reflect today’s environmental priorities, he said, with solar panels, recycled irrigation water and perhaps a large park. The site, a county island in the city’s northeast surrounded by residential development, is owned by the Maulhardt family, and strawberries now grow there, he said.

Williamson said what’s on paper is a “dummy project” needed for going through the environmental review process and to the local agency that oversees annexation requests. No one has a project planned at this time, but annexation would make the land more appealing to developers, he said.

A row of eucalyptus trees on Rose Avenue will be removed or thinned by a widening of the roadway between St. John’s Regional Medical Center and Camino del Sol. One option would allow about half the trees to remain if a wide, parklike median were created, Williamson said. Another significant project effect described in the environmental report is loss of agricultural land.
Read more at: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/04/oxnard-council-to-consider-developing-107-acre/
 

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Calabasas developer sets sights on Fisherman's Wharf in Oxnard

The Fisherman’s Wharf complex has sunk into slow decline at Channel Islands Harbor, its shops half-filled, the pastel buildings marred by rotting wood, the parking lot filled with cracks.

The downturn frustrates merchants and residents, who remember brighter and more profitable days in the mid-’90s.

“That was a very viable wharf before where people went shopping or to a restaurant,” Supervisor John Zaragoza of Oxnard said last week. “The frustration now is that it’s run down and there’s no business. It’s just basically a shame we don’t bring it back to its original vibrance.”

Ventura County owns and operates the Oxnard harbor where several new projects have been built or are under way.

A boating center will open in April. A launch ramp goes to bid this week, and a $2 million headquarters for the administration and Harbor Patrol is planned. But the complex at Victoria Avenue and Channel Islands Boulevard has had no major renewal for 15 years.

When the developer sought a new contract with the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to extend the effort begun in 2007, the board did not renew it, Harbor Director Lyn Krieger said. She began looking anew for a developer, and last week the board authorized exclusive negotiations that could lead to a deal with Upside Investments of Calabasas.

Upside President Sean Baker says his company can succeed where others have come up short.

“First and foremost we’re local, the principals are intimately involved in all aspects of the development, and our company is known for turning previously underutilized properties into productive projects,” he said.

Baker sees no chance for renovation, only replacement.

The 1970s complex is in such poor shape it must be torn down, he said. He has proposed a mixed-use development with 40,000 square feet of retail and commercial space and up to 500 apartments, plus control of a vacant parcel on the harbor’s west side, where he wants to build luxury apartments.

He said the combination of the two properties is absolutely critical to his development concept, which banks on boosting the number of people who live at the harbor.

“We feel that Channel Islands lacks activity and life, that it needs bodies and residences in order to successfully attract better retailers,” he said.
Read more at: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/17/ventura-county-oxnard-fishermans-wharf-redevelop/
 

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Long-stalled Oxnard Wagon Wheel project starts down new path

Let's get to building this area!

An iconic freeway landmark in Oxnard turned a long-awaited corner Wednesday.

The $450 million, 63-acre remake of the former Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant area launched with the first symbolic shovels of dirt.

For years, the empty site has been an enchanting eyesore off Highway 101, where successive plagues of fires, rats and rubble played out under the dormant neon stagecoach sign that has served as a gateway to the city.

On Wednesday, Forrest Lucas, whose Corona-based Lucas Oil Products Inc. provided financial backing for what’s now the Wagon Wheel Village at Oxnard project, told a crowd of 200 or so that he was probably one of the few people present who had stayed at the old hotel.

“I drove past that thing a million times,” he said of his former days as a long-haul truck driver. “I never dreamed of owning something around here.”

His automotive oil products company since has become so big that the Indianapolis Colts’ NFL stadium bears his name. He owns a raceway there and sponsors off-road racing teams.

But real estate development isn’t one of his typical interests. He got involved in the Oxnard project through his equal partner in the venture, developer Carl Renezeder.

“I’m not a developer,” Lucas said before the groundbreaking. “It’s not like I came to Ventura County looking for land.”

Lucas and Renezeder bought the property, which stretches between Oxnard Boulevard, Ventura Road and railroad tracks on the south side of the freeway, in June 2010 after former plans for the site petered out. Renezeder, who also races trucks sponsored by Lucas, has been the hands-on presence pushing the project past numerous obstacles. The project calls for 1,500 residential units, more than 50,000 square feet of commercial space and seven acres of parks and open space.

Wednesday’s event marked the launch of the first phase: a 120-unit affordable housing complex. The apartments, expected to be finished next year, will allow for demolition of the Wagon Wheel Trailer Lodge, a mobile home park where 100 or so families have been living in limbo since learning in 2004 that the park would be closed. Those families have first dibs on the rental units.
Read more at http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/20/long-stalled-wagon-wheel-starts-down-new-path/
 

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Dedication ceremony planned at College Park



The City of Oxnard General Services, Parks Division is pleased to announce the dedication ceremony for the newest phase of the College Park Community Park. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at College Park, 3250 South Rose Avenue, at 4 PM.
The construction of this phase has been underway since January 11, 2011. The newest enhancements to College Park include:

- 5 high-end professional level lighted soccer fields with state-of-the-art drainage system, maintenance building and equipment storage yard

- Picnic shade structures

- Walkways, fencing, and landscaping

- Scenic water detention area with a pedestrian bridge and viewing area for educational purposes and plantings

- Improvements to the existing pavilion

- Parking lot extension

- Perimeter road completion

This phase of the College Park project was made a reality with funds from the Measure “O” Vital City Services Sales Tax, approved by 65 percent of the voters on November 4, 2008.

When fully completed, College Park will encompass 72-acres of land and provide the community with a baseball/softball area in addition to the existing Tot Lot, basketball courts, restrooms, dog park, skate park and BBQ area.
Found at http://oxnardnews.org/page.aspx?id=747
 

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New Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura. Topped out.







A couple shots of 'The Village' in Oxnard. This is the Wagon Wheel area which will eventually have 1500 new residential units and two ~20 story luxury high-rises. I believe this first phase is the low-income housing. People living in the trailer park will have the first crack at this housing. The trailer park will then be demolished for new development. They are moving quickly. It looks like there are about 5-6 separate building under construction.





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^^ Awesome update, I appreciate it! I have been wondering how things were progressing at Wagon Wheel!
 
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