Local News

City extends agreement with downtown hotel developer

Fullerton City Council has approved a third extension to an exclusive negotiating agreement with Parkwest General Contractors for potential development of an upscale boutique hotel near the train station downtown, on what is now a parking lot located at the southeast corner of East Santa Fe Avenue and South Pomona Avenue. The extension is through December 2022.

Had the Council not extended the agreement, the property would have fallen under the provisions of the Surplus Land Act and become eligible for affordable housing.

At the August 17 City Council meeting, developer Craig Hostert argued that a hotel would provide an ongoing revenue source for Fullerton in the form of bed taxes and sales taxes.

Many members of Unite Here Local 11 (a hospitality workers union) spoke against the project, arguing that the project would take away from hotel jobs elsewhere, and that what the City needs is affordable housing, not another hotel.

Members of Unite Here Local 11 protest against a proposed downtown hotel outside City Hall on August 17. Photo by Saskia Kennedy.

“I work as a busser at the Disneyland resort,” said a public commenter named Maria. “Fullerton should use their public land in benefit of all the public. Our public land should deal with the problems that are most important to us in this moment—the housing crisis.”

Danielle Wilson from Unite Here asked that the City lease, rather than sell, the property so it can retain control and benefit financially from owning the property.

Mayor Whitaker, along with Mayor Pro Tem Dunlap and Councilmembers Zahra and Silva said they support the hotel concept because it will bring revenue and jobs to Fullerton.

Councilmember Jung, who voted against the agreement extension, said that he prefers the land be used for affordable housing.

Artist concept rendering of proposed hotel near the train station downtown.

5 replies »

  1. The property hasn’t been deemed “surplus” so the issue of having to put a hotel there instead of affordable housing is BS. The property is being used, and used effectively as parking. The City put a lot of money into u/g power, lighting, paving and striping. If EVER there were a case to be made for doing nothing, this is it.

    Nobody is going to plunk down a couple hundred bucks a night to enjoy the view of the parking structure, the auto repair shop, the RV homeless parking and the Edison substation across the tracks. This thing should have been spiked years ago.

    And then there’s the total lack of transparency and accountability for the Transportation Center Master Plan concept in which the City chose a master developer (JMI) who had first right of refusal ON ALL CITY PROPERTY. What happened to that?

  2. Also Fullerton Chamber of Commerce is now part of North OC Chamber of Commerce so isn’t just focused on Fullerton anymore. It includes Placentia, La Habra, Brea, Buena Park, Yorba Linda, La Palma, Stanton and Cypress as well as Fullerton.

  3. Where will parking be replaced?

    Who wants to stay in a Boutique Hotel on the Railroad Tracks. Not a good location due to rattling of tracks and shaking of the land as trains use tracks.

    There are many large empty buildings in Fullerton that would make much better locations for such a hotel. I guess we don’t have an active Chamber of Commerce in Fullerton, but that organization works with businesses to bring them to Fullerton and keep businesses here instead of letting them go to La Habra and Anaheim. We need to work on filling the spaces already built and now empty. Very sad sight for once thriving Fullerton. Failure of City Council-what are you guys doing?

    • Good points by Fritz and Christine – I would love to see a boutique hotel in town but also wonder about how the noise and shaking will be conquered – if even possible. Also we need affordable housing but I wonder about the location right next to the tracks for same reason. Past city councils have allowed housing complex developers to skimp on parking – hope this one requires adequate parking for both transportation center, downtown and any residences that go up. Past city councils had to be sued to build affordable housing – is that where we are headed with this council?