The vacant and derelict buildings along Martin Luther King Boulevard in Santa Barbara Plaza, also known as Marlton Square, will be torn down and removed beginning the second week of July, according to Councilman Bernard Parks.
The city owns all but two of the parcels, Oran Belgrave's art house/radio station and Jerry's Flying Fox. The city made its last big purchase in the summer of 2010 when it bought the Maranatha Church after Rev. Billy Graham died.
Click on the interactive graphic by Brian Frank to find out the ownership and history.
The property - the size of 20 football fields - has been largely abandoned for 20 years as the city failed to negotiate a redevelopment deal. The business problems were further complicated when not only the city-chosen developer declared bankruptcy, but the bank that financed the operation declared bankruptcy. That financial entanglement still effects the properties to the south along Santa Rosalia and west along Marlton, though Park.
Parks also stated the construction activity resumed June 27 at the senior housing site on Buckingham. Parks anticipateds the long-stalled, half-finished project will be completed by 2012.The city is under federal mandate to finish the senior housing or return several million dollars to Housing and Urban Development.
"I expect the project will be fully occupied within 2 months after completion, approximately February 2012," Parks stated.
During his re-election run in February, Parks made a similar announcement without a timeline attached - Parks stated that Commercial Mortgage Managers was selected to act as the servicing agent and the company plans to raise capital for demolition of Marlton Square and then sell the entire property to a qualified developer.
Call Dennis R. at 2134737008 in Councilman Parks' office for more info.
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