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Gold Line Reaches $56 Million Land Deal with Monrovia

The Gold Line Construction Authority agreed to terms of a deal with the city Friday after a long, contentious negotiation process.

The Gold Line Construction Authority has agreed to terms with the city of Monrovia to purchase land for a maintenance yard crucial to keeping the Gold Line Foothill Extension on track.

Under the negotiated arrangement, the authority will pay about $56 million in total compensation to purchase land on Evergreen Avenue from the city needed for a maintenance facility that will service railcars along the line, GLCA CEO Habib Balian said in an interview with Patch.

"It's done," Balian said. "We had been nibbling around the edges of any differences between us and we were able to iron out what we wanted."

The deal must still be approved by the GLCA board and Monrovia City Council, City Manager Scott Ochoa said.

Because of , Ochoa was reluctant to comment on the deal until it is finalized, which could happen in September, he said.

"We have met and negotiated in good faith and I’m curious to see how their board receives the proposed purchase and sale agreement," Ochoa said.

Several Roadblocks

The deal for 14 acres of land hit several roadblocks in the last few months as during negotiations. City officials said in June that the GLCA reneged from terms that had been agreed upon, while the GLCA threatened to take Monrovia's land via eminent domain if a deal could not be reached.

The main sticking point was a , a property owner who stands to have his land condemned by the Gold Line as it makes room for the maintenance facility. The city steadfastly refused to agree to join the GLCA in a settlement with Brokate, insisting that the lawsuit was without merit.

Friday's deal includes an "out clause" for the GLCA should a court side with Brokate and disallow the land transaction, said Mitch Purcell, the GLCA's chief contracting officer.

"If a court prohibits the transaction … then the purchase and sale agreement goes away," Purcell said.

The city will also absorb up to $200,000 in GLCA attorneys fees associated with the lawsuit if a judge prohibits the deal, Purcell said.

Completion in 2015

Balian said the deal would allow the Foothill Extension to stay on schedule and meet an anticipated completion date in 2015. The GLCA cannot obtain the necessary Measure R funds to proceed with the Foothill Extension without securing Monrovia's land, Balian said.

"It turns on the final funding so we can go ahead and execute that contract," he said. "Getting this done is key to our schedule."

At the GLCA's next board meeting, it will award a construction contract for the Foothill Extension to one of three bidders, according to an email written by Bailian.

"Staff and our multiple evaluation committees--whose hard work I must acknowledge--have completed our work, and I will recommend to the board that the Foothill Transit Constructors–A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture win this important contract," Balian wrote.

Still complicating matters is the fate of the city's redevelopment agency, which The ordinance, which was approved at a first reading by the council on Tuesday, authorizes the city to pay the state $1.1 million to keep its redevelopment agency intact.

The Gold Line deal cannot be finalized by the city until the continuation ordinance takes effect, which won't happen until August at the earliest, Ochoa said. Until that happens, and as long as litigation continues against the city and GLCA, Ochoa said the city will not assume that a final deal for the maintenance yard is inevitable.

"The state budget and the (redevelopment elimination bills) have obviously added a layer of complexity to this whole discussion," he said.

Holly Hale July 25, 2011 at 07:15 AM
You mean because of the crossings? Are those streets heavily traveled? Perhaps all the people who feel it would inconvenience them to have the train go through should approach the City Council. I'm not sure about how much traffic is over there so I can't give even a remote guess, but I do know that taking the train to work daily last year cost me $17 per week vs. the $100 gas and parking was costing. They are electric so they don't pollute and could take hundreds off cars off the streets. Maybe more research is in order. Are you up for the assignment? Find out the details and go to the City Council with it.
Erin Thorn July 25, 2011 at 08:22 AM
Holly, my name is not Eric it's Erin. The last I heard the train will stop every 8 minutes which means the streets at Mayflower, Magnolia, Myrtle and California will be affected by railroad crossings every 8 minutes. Yes, the streets down here are very heavily traveled night and day and students who walk to schools and bus stops, even elementary aged students, are regularly crossing the existing tracks, which by the way are less than 250 feet from my drive way so yeah, lots of people actually live close by. If I truly thought the "greater good" was really going to be changed for the better I'd be able to reconcile the inconvenience and disruption of life this will cause to all of the people who either live close by or pass over those tracks night and day, but the fact remains that people will not be flocking to the Gold Line to get to work. Not to mention the number of vagrants and pedophiles that might be attracted to this immediate area with the Station Square project. Especially with a middle school right across the street. There will probably be more riders, at least for a while, but for the most part people will still be driving their cars as it is more convenient for them. My fault for not having the insight to know that they might one day run the metro along those basically idle tracks when I bought my house.
Jesse Lomas July 25, 2011 at 02:38 PM
If you bought your home prior to 2002 then I would say all bets are off and I understand "lack of insight", since Station Square was announced Evergreen, south side of Pomona have been 'blighted' and any real estate business or city hall sould have told you as part of any 'disclosures'. Also, more importantly, since info was available as to the route of the Gold Line since its inception and that you can see tracks questions should have been asked in your mind. Trouble is that the Gold line has been delayed for any number of reasons and people forget...
Jonathan Lesueur July 25, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Iamsam and Erin Thorn I guess you haven't been living in monrovia for along time I remember when freight trains went by there was not a lot of traffic. The goldline would go through every 12 minutes or 20 minutes. Midday service until approximately 7 p.m. The goldline hours are 3:35an to midnight. These trains are quiet you wont hear them. Just be glad it is not the metrolink going by your house those trains are loud.
Bob Dollins July 25, 2011 at 04:28 PM
@Holly and Heather. What was there first, the Paragon or Gem City Grill? Sorry ladies, if you buy a house near an airport, don't complain about the airport noise. It is my understanding that in the lease for a Paragon apartment there is a acknowledgment that there is a nearby restaurant with live entertainment that leasees have to sign. So, the prospective paragon residents were warned and did not have to sign a lease. I also know that 90% of calls to Monrovia PD to complain about the noise, comes from the same Paragon resident. Every neighborhood has one of these.
Danielle Corona July 25, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Holly, you should take a ride on the train to hear how quiet it is... lol... it is pretty loud, as are the brakes! That being said, bring it on. It isn't any louder then the big Union Pacific trains that used to go through.
Erin Thorn July 25, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Yes, I did buy before 2002 and I have to say information had to be sought out and was not being broadcast. Plus, from what we knew it didn't seem like it was ever really going to go through. I am not concerned about the noise, it's already noisy where I live. Even though we were assurred that the studies show that the impact to traffic will be minimal and that it will be perfectly safe, I am concerned about accidents involving both pedestrians and vehicles. Especially the children making their way to and from school. Cars travel at speeds above the 35 MPH speed limit constantly on Mayflower alone. They just had to put speed bumps in on the Diamond/Monterey route, and that's supposed to be a side street! It's already a nightmare on Duarte Rd in the morning and at pick-up from school, I can't imagine what it's going to look like once people are even more rushed because they got held up waiting for the train to cross. As far as my personal concerns, I'm worried about getting out of my driveway all day long and the traffic and emissions that my family will be sucking up to make it "Green." LOL
Bob L July 26, 2011 at 03:58 AM
When I was a kid, with my folks we visited friends who lived walking distance from the Monrovia station with their back yard next to the tracks. Could not hear the trains from her house, and very quiet in their back yard.
jake July 26, 2011 at 02:08 PM
I agree nobody will use the train unless it traveled to san bernardino. Going green is a fake concept that people buy into, love to see the environmental study that our council always tries to go around.
Erin Thorn July 26, 2011 at 06:56 PM
I have lived in Monrovia, south of the tracks, on Mayflower Avenue since 1990 and in that time those tracks have not been used very much. I'm not sure when it was that the trains traveled frequently on those tracks but I'm sure the traffic wasn't nearly as bad and the streets were not as heavily traveled as they are now. Again, it's not the noise that concerns me. If you read my posts you'll see SOME of the reasons. I know that when they have used the tracks, or tested the crossing gate, the traffic builds up very quickly and there is no way around unless you go all the way to 2nd Avenue in Arcadia or past Buena Vista in Duarte. All of those cars sitting, idling, certainly isn't very green. And what about all the extra cars pulling into the station? All of those extra vehicles in this one area, along with fumes from the nearby freeway, makes for an emissions nightmare in our little "blighted" area of town. As far as the noise goes, a couple of years ago they used the tracks to park trains that were out of service. They did this in the middle of the night and it was loud enough that it woke me up . The next day, a very tired 8 year old at school told me he was tired because they parked the trains in back of his house and it kept them up all night. Are they really quiet?
Jesse Lomas July 26, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Erin... Last regular 'scheduled' on what was the ATSF Santa Fe 2nd district would have been back in the 70s and used to be the route of the old Super Chief, after that most got sent via Fullerton. Freight used to be approx weekly serving Valley Grain which used to be west of the old depot with an extension to Arcadia. As was rightly pointed out the branch was used to store idle intermodal freight cars, could this have been done during the day? Maybe. Back to the present though. Metrolink who own the right of way since ATSF/BNSF 'sold' it are responsible for upkeep and any current operations, just read the painted signs on the control boxes.
Iamsam July 26, 2011 at 08:23 PM
It is not the noise that concerns me most. It is the traffic. Our street is already used as an alternate for most people getting to the south end. It will only inconvenience many of you on your way to pick up a pizza at Monrovia Pizza Company. For the rest of us, it will be the difference between my kids getting to the bus stop on time, getting in our out of our driveways, or the students that walk our streets to the High School or Middle School. If the train were to keep going on to Ontario and beyond, I would say it will make a difference. But with it's final stop in Azusa per this phase it is not going to be a huge impact. My question for those that say they will use it, will you be walking to the station from your home or getting in your car and driving down to the station?
Erin Thorn July 26, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Iamsam, it seems we have many of the same concerns. Did you go to any of the meetings, not that they were advertised? I did and my concerns were disregarded and the only people other than me in attendance were business owners, most from other cities. I think because hardly any residents came out, it gave the appearance that no one really had a problem with it, when in fact I think the majority of us didn't have the information and/or were discouraged after attending a meeting or two and never tried again. I sure hope that this thing at least starts to turn a profit, instead of losing money once it goes through. Plenty of us will suffer in the name of so called progress.
Jonathan Lesueur July 26, 2011 at 11:26 PM
iamsam traffic wouldn't be a problem the gates will only be down for only a couple of minutes. If you are that concern about traffic what happens if the the 210 gets backed up when their is a bad accident which causes a huge traffic jam and forces people off the free way and take street which causes a congestion on the street.
Erin Thorn July 27, 2011 at 06:17 AM
Yes Jonathan! That is exactly what happens when there is a bad accident on the 210. I am literally stuck in my house and God forbid there be an ermergency because no one is getting through. Sometimes the cars are lines up from Huntington Dr. all the way to Duarte Rd. That's a long way. You have no idea how bad the traffic gets on these streets. The cars are driving past at 45 MPH and I have to back into my driveway to park because backing out means going across 2 lanes of traffic with all those cars whizzing past. My son just started driving and it's a bit terrifying for me to see him backing out of the driveway. i signal at least 300 feet in advance when I am going to be turning into my driveway and still almost get rear ended at least once a day because I guess no one thinks anyone lives in the houses along the street.since they never want to stop. Then half the time they have the nerve to beep at me! The traffic is a huge issue but only those of us who experience it as part of our everyday life really understand. If the traffic bothers you while commuting in it, imagine living with it on your street every day.
Bob Dollins July 27, 2011 at 03:54 PM
@Erin, Did you buy your house in the mid 60's? That's when the 210 Fwy was built ( I watched the construction while going to HS) If you bought it later than that, didn't you notice that big freeway?
Steve Buckner July 27, 2011 at 04:10 PM
Erin, I dont know if you have done this or not. I would send a certified letter to city hall and fire dept describing your concerns. If there is an emergency at any of the houses on this street everyone on this street will not get a fast and safe response. You or someone on that street may need that letter later on.
Iamsam July 27, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Traffic is already a problem. My small side street is used as a thorough way for those that want to avoid Huntington now. When the freeway is backed up you can not get out of our street onto Mayflower. This area when built was not intended for this much traffic.
Jonathan Lesueur July 27, 2011 at 04:44 PM
when you buy a house you are supposed to ask what problems exist when you move in. It is not the city or states problem that you move in near a freeway, airport, or a stadium. You knew their was going to be traffic issues. But people still complain if that is a problem you should move or just deal with it . Like you knew that their was train tracks that were not being used. You would figure that someday they might be extending the goldline someday. Then you start complaining about noise from these trains but you failed to realize that their is noise from the freeway and when you hear trucks stopping on the freeway when their is traffic or at the stop light. But you complain about an sound coming from a electric train with bad breaks. I will say this just be glad that the metrolink is not going through monrovia or an airport those would be loudest.
Iamsam July 27, 2011 at 05:21 PM
The traffic was in no way the amount of traffic it is today. The 210 traffic at one point did move smoothly, in fact I grew up in this home, I recall my father getting to work in Pasadena in 5 minutes. I do not think anyone can do that today. The Gold Line was non existent nor in the works up until 10 years ago. There were empty tracks that sat unused except for the very rare freight that was parked and occasional usage. I personally do not recall complaining about noise, from either the existing train or the upcoming rail. My concern is the increase of traffic that will sit blocking my street at Mayflower. When they changed the lanes and turn light at Huntington going straight it now has traffic backed up along Mayflower.
Daryl Hons July 27, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Hi Erin. I appreciate your concerns about the quality of life in your neighborhood but admit that I am a bit confused by your arguments. On July 25th, you say that no one will use the Gold Line, as people would rather use their cars for the convenience. Then, on July 26th, you mention the problem of all the extra cars pulling into the station. I don't see the continuity here. I can say from experience that people will use the Gold Line as many people work either in downtown Los Angeles or in Pasadena, not to mention making connnecting routes at Union Station on other lines. Visit the parking garage at the Sierra Madre Villa station on any given weekday and count how many parking spaces are avaible and you'll see that there aren't many. I think the main thing here is to make our concerns to the city for proper planning of egress and ingress of the station, and to make the necessary adjustments in municipal infractructure to handle traffic on surface streets. Regarding the trains, the amount of time they will be coming through is very short. They're quiet and not that long in length. Waiting traffic at gates should be manageable with the proper operation.
Erin Thorn July 27, 2011 at 08:37 PM
@Bob, don't be a jerk. I wasn't complaining about the freeway. Perhaps you should read entire threads of comments before getting snarky.
Erin Thorn July 27, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Why would I figure they'd use them some time in the future and I did ask my REALTOR who told me they weren't a problem. Again, not complaining about the freeway or the noise. Used one comment to say that they are indeed noisy. You need to read better before posting. Perhaps you should go back to the top where the lady moved in years after the Gem City Grill was inexistance and expects them to change their way of doing business to accomodate her.
Erin Thorn July 27, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Daryl, I really do hope the Gold Line is used more than it is now just to justify the cost and inconvenience it will be. I do not believe it will be the money maker some people want it to be nor will it have the envoirnmental impact some say it will. If it is used though, the cars will be piling up along these streets to get into the station. There are many possible scenarios and I am not just addressing one or another but many of them. I'm glad you have time to document my posting dates. At least you are thoroughly reading things before posting. The reality is this is Southern California and things are just spread out too much in order for us to ever have a well used mass transit system. Being someone from back east I can tell you mass transit works in highly populated metro cities with well planned suburban communities surrounding them. Things are not that way here and there is no going back to correct the set up now. I really am looking at the big picture here. I just took my rose colored glasses off.
Jill Ramirez July 27, 2011 at 09:08 PM
From the very beginning, my biggest concern has been the foot traffic of students that walk to and from Santa Fe or the High School via Magnolia. As far as Colorado is the 1 mile mark and they are not eligible for bussing to and from school. Some walk in groups, some ride bikes, scooters, and some walk alone. On any given school day, there are over 100 students that us this route to school. Some as young as 10 that will be walking across those tracks with the train coming every 8 minutes, along with the increased cars. I can't imagine how many will be loitering around the train station after school. This past Spring when there was "Intermittent" closure for construction these same kids were detoured around to either Mayflower or Myrtle without notice. Often it was open in the morning-and closed by the time school got out. I encourage anyone that would disagree to walk alongside these kids when school resumes this year. In fact, I walked home one time last year, and that was enough for me. As someone that does use the Gold Line on rare occasion field trip downtown, I can't imagine anyone getting off at Station Square and walking up to Myrtle to "Shop" as the business owners would like to think. As someone the does live near Old Town, when I need to go to the bank or the post office, I drive. How about you?
Jonathan Lesueur July 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Jill I would believe they would have a bus that goes up that street oh wait the 270 goes up myrtle turns on Huntington drive to magnolia then makes an left on foothill and then a right on primrose ave they got that covered. when the time comes I believe they will probably think of a way to shuttle people to myrtle maybe bring the trolly back.
Daryl Hons July 28, 2011 at 05:12 AM
Erin, you make an interesting point. Los Angeles and its environs did not develop like the older East Coast cities or like Chicago for that matter. Those cities developed with mass transit and their respective population and business densities reflect that. Today, it is quite typical for cities that build new light rail lines to use existing railways. They do this for a couple of reasons. First, it is easier to acquire the land and the right-of-way. Second, the Federal government often insists that local governments provide a portion of the building costs for a project before it will provide funds. Sometimes, local authorities get creative and use the value of the railway land in place of actual dollars to satisfy this criteria. The use of existing railways is good and bad. First, the bad is that the rail lines often do not go in the most ideal routes, ideal meaning that they are restricted by the existing rail route. This is where the planned systems like New York, Boston, and Chicago are far superior. However, the upside is that light rail projects, and I include the Gold Line, do serve the community in a positive way. If I worked in downtown Los Angeles, there is no way, unless I needed a car for my job, I would commute by car. I don't need the grief of driving or the hassle and expense of parking. I took light rail to work for a year in another city and do not regret one minute of it. I read the newspaper on the way in and walked a few blocks to work.
Daryl Hons July 28, 2011 at 05:20 AM
One other point. Unless I'm mistaken, light rail, and probably most mass transit, are not money makers. Building a rail line and expecting it to turn a profit or break even is not realistic. However, we build roads and they don't generate profits. It's all infrastructure and part of why we pay taxes.
Bob Dollins August 03, 2011 at 05:22 PM
@Erin Thorn, "Snarky Jerk?" Well, like my debate coach in HS told me, when your opponent resorts to name calling, they know they've lost the debate. BTW if by the remote chance you are married, my condolences to him, or is it her?
Rick Haney September 05, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Im the owner of Raidex Termite and Pest Control at 140 West Pomona Ave. I was told that the city would help with my relocation to make room for the Gol Line expansion. Do any of you know if this is still the case and who would I contact?

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