Developer in Talks to Build First Hotel in Downtown Fullerton, California

Developer in Talks to Build First Hotel in Downtown Fullerton, California

Local Contractor Will Have Six Months to Submit Plans for Upscale Boutique Hotel
A local developer is proposing a hotel next to the Fullerton's downtown Metrolink train station. Photo: Metrolink

A local developer is proposing a hotel next to the Fullerton’s downtown Metrolink train station. Photo: Metrolink

City leaders in Fullerton, California, are considering an unsolicited proposal by a local developer to build the city’s first downtown hotel, an upscale boutique inn on what’s now a parking lot next to the Metrolink train station.

The Fullerton City Council’s decision to enter into exclusive negotiations with Anaheim, California-based Allen Christopher Corp. comes just a few months after the council decided not to renew a contract with high-profile San Diego developer JMI Realty, which it hired 12 years ago to lead a partnership to plan a massive 35-acre redevelopment project. That site included the lot on which the proposed hotel will be built, and was anchored by the train station at 303 W. Commonwealth Ave.

The master plan was meant to overhaul the Orange County city’s downtown to include more offices, retail, hotel and residential space. The council, frustrated by a lack of progress on the plan, declined in June 2018 to extend the contract with JMI Realty, a real estate company owned by San Diego developer John Moores that served as master developer for San Diego’s $3 billion Ballpark District redevelopment plan.

Craig Hostert, speaking to the council on behalf of Allen Christopher Corp. at its meeting last month, said consultants have described the city’s downtown as an “undiscovered jewel,” and that a downtown hotel is among the top questions asked by members of the local chamber of commerce.

Under the contract signed with the city in December, Allen Christopher will have six months to submit a proposal and market feasibility study for the hotel. The two-acre site is located at the southeast corner of East Santa Fe and South Pomona Avenues.

“Many people in the city have dreamed about having a boutique hotel in the transportation center,” said Council member Jennifer Fitzgerald, who voted in favor of the contract. “I think it would be a gem for the community.”

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