first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Getting a project built at the site has been years in the making. The property changed hands, and developers unveiled plans first for a gas station and then a strip mall. Residents opposed both. What they are getting instead is a $12.5 million project that slopes down, standing two stories tall at one end, with more than a dozen shops, a couple of restaurants and a parking structure. When it opens in 2009, the Town Center will have 43,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space, compared to the original proposal of 16,000. Residents hope it will serve as a gathering place, as it was decades ago when Commerce Avenue was the town’s bustling main street, when the site was known as The Garden of the Moon. Located in a grove of oak trees, the center attracted visitors in the 1920s and ’30s with an outdoor dance floor and temporary boxing rings, said Lloyd Hitt, president of the Little Landers Historical Society, a Sunland-Tujunga group. The developer, Kiong-Su Han, said he is also happy with the project, even though it will cost him nearly twice as much to build as the U-shaped mall he originally proposed. “It’s kind of hard at the beginning of the project to convince the developer to work with the community,” said Samuel Cho, the project’s architect. “But at the final stage, the developer understood the community’s needs, so I think this is one of the good examples of how the developer worked with the community together.” The lovefest stands in stark contrast to the same community’s battle against the Home Depot. That proposal called for the home-improvement store to be built where a Kmart once stood on Foothill. In August, the City Council told Home Depot to conduct a full study of the project’s environmental and traffic impacts before it can go forward, a major victory for residents. Now, with the Town Center, they have a project everyone can be proud of. “When Sunland-Tujunga decides to draw the line,” said local artist Charlotte Leu, “they dig in their heels and good things happen.” [email protected] (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SUNLAND-TUJUNGA – To the casual observer, a fenced-off hole in the ground at one of this area’s most prominent intersections looks like any other construction site. But to local residents, the excavated 2-acre lot at Foothill Boulevard and Commerce Avenue is a sign of progress and compromise. While residents of Sunland-Tujunga sport bumper stickers opposing a proposed Home Depot – a project they helped delay – their wariness of overdevelopment didn’t apply to the Foothill Commerce Town Center, which will be more than twice as big as originally proposed, because that’s what the locals wanted. “How often do you hear about that?” said Debby Beck, a local artist and designer who became the community’s point person on the project. “People are so happy, they’re so happy to see that dirt getting dug up. It’s just amazing.” last_img

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