City Enters Agreement with Developer for Fox Block

The historic “Fox Block” in downtown Fullerton, which includes the Fox Theatre, may see further development.

Council voted 4-1 (Whitaker “no”) to enter into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with the developer Frontier Real Estate (NFRED, LLC) to come up with a development plan for the Fox Block at their May 19 meeting. What is envisioned is a “public market stye commercial development” on the east side of North Harbor Blvd between Chapman Ave and Ellis Pl, including the Pomona and Triangle parking lots.

In a map of the scope of the envisioned Fox Block development, there is something called Rodeo Market where Angelo’s and Vinci’s is now.

When asked if the project envisions replacing Angelo’s and Vinci’s, Community and Economic Director Matt Foulkes said that “Frontier Real Estate has been in discussions with Angelo’s and Vinci’s as part of this project, but the City has not been part of those conversations.”

The developer has also submitted a Letter of Intent to purchase adjacent non-city owned properties.

“The concept at this point includes the sale of the City/successor agency properties to Frontier, including the Triangle Lot, Chapman/Pomona Lot, Tea Room, and possibly the surface lot adjacent to Angelo’s and Vinci’s with provisions to preserve the required public parking,” Foulkes said.

The concept proposed by Frontier includes partnering with the Fox Theatre Foundation to reconfigure a portion of the theatre into a concert and/or theatre venue.

“Frontier has also been in contact with the Fox Theatre Foundation and will be working with that group to ensure that the historic building and use is retained,” Foulkes said.

Councilmember Ahmad Zahra said, “Preserving and bringing the Fox Theatre into full operation is part of the vision. That’s the key factor and anchor point in this project concept.”

The agreement with the City has an initial negotiation period of 12 months and identifies certain milestones to be completed by the developer, including a market study, project description, property appraisals, site plans, appropriate permits, and progress reports every four months.

If the developer meets these requirements within 12 months, the ENA automatically extends for an additional 6 months and includes additional milestones such as environmental impact analysis, and community outreach. Regarding community outreach, the agreement states that the developer must hold at least one community meeting.

In 2017, another developer, Pelican Communities, prepared a study that outlined options for development of the Fox Block. Frontier’s proposed development will use some of the data and research that Pelican did.