A vendor-friendly real estate project is brewing in Santa Paula.
Local officials last month began discussions to transform a 2-acre property off highway 126 into a gateway for the city.
The sliver of land located east of Hallock Drive between Telegraph Road that was once eyed to be developed into a fire station would serve as a commercial area on Santa Paula’s eastern front, according to meeting notes.
While the City Council did not finalize any plans and has put the item on hold, some of the initial ideas at the meeting included a Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A or Chipotle fast food outlet, an office building or a hotel.
Santa Paula City Manager Dan Singer told attendees that the commercial complex will most likely not see ground broken for at least two years.
Previously, the property was supposed to be a fire station, with Limoneira Co., the Santa Paula-based agricultural and land company, to pay for it in connection with its nearby Harvest at Limoneira housing project. The city and Limoneira had entered into an agreement regarding the parcel in 2015.
However, plans for the fire station changed over soil contamination concerns. That concern was ultimately dismissed after the land was deemed free of health risks.
Because Limoneira will not build a fire station on the site, the company will pay the city $4.75 million, which will be applied to improvements at Santa Paula’s two existing firehouses.