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ONTARIO, CA-Site work is under way for a key piece of this city’s downtown revitalization effort. The $200-million, mixed-use public-private partnership will redevelop six blocks within Ontario Town Square, a 12-square-block planning area that the city owns the bulk of and wants to remake as a pedestrian-oriented “urban village.”

Slated for a Fall 2009 completion, the joint venture of Los Angeles-based J.H. Snyder and the Ontario Housing Agency will include 471 units of housing–160 apartments, 140 for-sale town homes, and 171 for-sale lofts–anchored by 80,000 sf of street-level retail and adjacent restaurant pads. About half of the units will be available for very low-, low-, and moderate-income households. Adjacent to the project, the California affiliate of the Related Cos. LP will develop a 76-unit active senior housing community for low income tenants.

The project is meant to build on what has already occurred within Ontario Towne Square, which is bounded by Euclid and Sultana avenues, D Street and Holt Boulevard. Most recently, the city invested $16.7 million to construct a new public library next to the existing Ontario City Hall. In 2002, it built a senior center in the area.

As part of the development agreement with the city, one of the six blocks J.H.. Snyder is redeveloping will become a community park save for two 4,500-sf restaurant pads. One pad will occupy the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and B Street, the other the southeast corner of Euclid Avenue and C Street.

Some of the blocks to be redeveloped include historic commercial buildings that will be reused and integrated into the development. The development agreement encouraged Snyder to analyze the historic buildings and integrate as many as possible into the redevelopment.

Elucid Avenue is the city’s historic main thoroughfare, an eight-mile long, 200-foot wide arterial divided by a tree-lined parkway. “We’re focusing here because Euclid Avenue is the structure that holds it all together,” says Brent Schultz, the city’s director of housing and neighborhood revitalization. Snyder won the right to redevelop the blocks in May 2004.

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