Plaza drives toward La Verne unity

by Amy Borer
Editorial Director

In an effort to unite the entire downtown area of La Verne and encourage alternate forms of transportation, a transit center, recently named Old Town Plaza is set to open in late March. The plaza is being built by the city at “D” Street and Bonita Avenue.

“The plaza will serve a whole bunch of different functions for us,” said Steve Preston, community development director.

The city purchased the lot about a year ago with funds from different transportation propositions, which means that no part of the $200,000 cost of the project comes from the city’s general fund, said Jeff Allred, assistant city manager.

“The proposition funds are made up of money set aside from sales tax in L.A. County,” said Preston. Each city in the county is allotted a portion of the money from the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) to use for transportation development.

The northern half of the plaza will contain a transportation and event information kiosk, open area for seating, bus benches and bike racks. Dominating the plaza will be a large live oak tree that was donated by Edwards Theater in La Verne and transplanted from an area behind the theater to the corner lot on Feb. 2.

The entrance of the plaza will be marked with a large monument and sign welcoming visitors to old town La Verne. A changeable message board will display community news.

The southern part of the plaza will be used as an outside dining area for Warehouse Pizza.

According to Kirk Anderson, co-owner of Warehouse Pizza, the restaurant has obtained a 25-year lease on the piece of land from the city.

The patio will have places for patrons to eat and will be covered and landscaped by the city, which has hired landscape contractors to complete the job.

When the project is finished, there will also be a transportation mural to promote alternate forms of transportation and will interpret a historical exhibit about the old downtown area, said Preston.

“This is a public and a private venture,” said Allred.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on March 25 at 9 a.m.

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