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Council makes way for Henderson Village
Plans for an upscale housing and commercial development known as Henderson Village are quickly taking shape.
The Porterville City Council unanimously voted in favor of the development at its regular meeting Tuesday night, allowing Malibu-based Pacific Rim Companies to move forward with a 23-acre subdivision west of the southwest corner of Henderson Avenue and Newcomb Street.
The site was originally zoned for high- and mid-density multi-family housing and low-impact neighborhood commercial activities, but the developer requested the area be zoned for commercial mixed use instead. According to Julie Phillips, Porterville community development manager, the land, currently vacant, has not been used since it was cleared of walnut orchards more than 25 years ago.
Scott Vincent, project architect with the Vincent Company, said the project is oriented toward serving the neighborhood and will provide multi-family housing for an area that is underserved in that aspect.
The plans call for the construction of a 168-unit apartment complex on roughly 11 acres, a two-story 18,000-square-foot office building, just under five acres of retail space that includes a 4,200-square-foot financial pad, two 3,200-square-foot fast-food pads for drive-thru restaurants, two retail buildings adding up to 39,400 square feet, and a 518-unit self storage facility. The development will have a Spanish mission style theme.
The complex includes 21 eight-unit apartment buildings, two community rooms, and an office building. It also boasts three open space areas at roughly 17,000 square feet each.
One of the spaces includes a community pool with arbor. There is also a covered barbecue and picnic area near the largest open space area that provides residents a place to cook and eat outdoors. Each unit provides a 50-square-foot personal outdoor patio or balcony space.
Two water fountains and a clock tower will enhance the commercial area. The mini-storage facility will be tucked behind the commercial center but will have some frontage along Henderson Avenue. Car access for the entire project would be from Henderson Avenue along four driveways, a staff report states.
“We have worked very, very hard to be able to master plan a project that will be a first-class project and we promise we will build what we will show you,” said Paul Owhadi, CEO of Pacific Rim Companies. “The project, once it’s fully completed, will have a value somewhere between $40 million to $50 million. It will employ many local people here and will also provide housing which desperately is needed in terms of multi-family housing for market rate.”
Porterville resident Pat Gardner, who lives on Memory Lane, was the only person to speak on the project.
“It looks beautiful — I’m sold. But I don’t want to live next door to it,” she said.
Gardner said increased traffic in the area will present a safety hazard for high school students and children trying to cross the busy intersection. She also said she was concerned about privacy; specifically apartment tenants looking into her backyard.
According to an initial study of the project’s environmental impacts, the potential traffic impacts at 11 intersections in the vicinity would be less than significant. The study found mitigation would be necessary for one of the intersections in 2030. The eastbound left turn storage lane at Henderson Avenue and Newcomb Street would need to be lengthened to 250 feet to meet future queue length requirements, the study states.
The project has been in the works for roughly two years and has moved along steadily, so much so that it may break ground very soon.
“In all honesty, they’re pushing me to have this ready to break ground this summer,” Vincent told the council.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.