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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Stalled Sun Valley Project Still Mired After Five Years

Stalled Sun Valley Project Still Mired After Five Years By SHELLY GARCIA Senior Reporter More than five years since a major redevelopment was first proposed, the new management team of the Sun Valley project has gone back to the drawing board to explore different alternatives. The planned industrial complex which would be built on a 33-acre area that includes the former Branford Landfill, has had a name change to Branford Partners LLC (it was formerly called Sunquest) and the project managers say they are looking at different configurations from the 550,000-square-foot industrial complex with a community center initially proposed. “A landfill development project is obviously a very complicated matter,” said David Cobb, a consultant on the project who returned calls to the new managing principal of Branford Partners. “So we’re looking for all our opportunities. Are there other ways to approach the development?” Cobb, who said the project would still include an industrial component, would not elaborate further on the reasons the group has chosen to reevaluate the site. The project investors, which have not changed, brought in Joanne Carras, a development consultant who has also worked at Genesis L.A. and was an assistant deputy mayor and director of economic development for Los Angeles during the Richard Riordan administration. Carras has created WRC Development LLC, a real estate development and asset management company, whose first project, her curriculum vitae states, will be the Branford Landfill. The group has held discussions with Swinerton Builders, a general contractor. This is the third time management has changed hands on the project, which was first proposed by an entity called Sunquest Development LLC headed by Randall Roth. Roth, who won preliminary approval for some $10 million in government subsidies for the project during Riordan administration, was removed in 2003. The Summit Alliance was brought in to resurrect the project and select a developer and then shifted management to the new group. “The things I needed to address were addressed,” said Cynthia Futter, president of Summit, who headed the effort. “All the balls were put in motion,” said Futter, who said she left the project early in July. Cobb said Futter was still involved. Requests to interview Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas, whose district includes the landfill site, were declined. In a written statement, Cardenas said, “This project has had a myriad of problems since its inception. We still have to determine if there was excessive encroachment on this land. Unfortunately if this was the case, this project will need to be reshaped causing more delays and headaches for a community that has waited long enough.”

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