The Wishing Well, Once A Mayor’s Crib; Now A Bottomless Money Hole


The Wishing Well Apartments. Someone's wish just came true.

For those interested in obscure Fullerton history, Louis Valasquez lived in the Wishing Well apartments at 466 West Valencia Dr. while serving as the Mayor of Fullerton in 1979.

Those more curious about modern-day Redevelopment Agency boondoggles, may be interested to learn that this past week the Fullerton City Council voted to sell the Agency owned Wishing Well Apartments to an out of town “developer” for $100.

The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency purchased the ol’ Wishing Well for $1,993,433 and paid an additional $60,930 to kick out (relocate) all the tenants that resided in the 16 unit building. On top of that the Agency is going to give the out-of-towners an additional $184,347 to “rehab” the apartments, provided the developer rents the apartments to low income tenants. Here in Orange County “low income” is 50% of the median income – which for a family of 3 is $70,890. This means that people that make around $35,445 will be living in the Brand Spanking New Wishing Well. I’ll bet ya the previous tenants made less than $35,445 per year. So in reality the city kicked out the poor folks in order to replace them with richer poor folks.

Now that’s not very good is it?

And if the units were so dilapidated, why didn’t City Code Enforcement simply cite the landlord and require the units to be standard units?

I think I’ll do a follow-up post and focus on code enforcement failures under Don Bankhead’s and Dick Jones’s years of “leadership.”

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  1. #1 by Joe Sipowicz on July 25, 2010

    You are probably right about the less poor being housed at the expense of the more poor, but we can all take comfort in knowing that the idiot Linda Morad and Rob Zur Schmied are making work for themselves.

  2. #2 by Mr. Peabody on July 25, 2010

    So the City’s “investment” is already $140,000 a unit for single bedroom apartments.

    Good Lord, is anybody in charge?

  3. #3 by Ling Cod on July 25, 2010

    As long as some developer can make a buck on our tax dollars the poor will always lose.

  4. #4 by helen logan on July 25, 2010

    Whether Fullerton’s redevelopment agency is funded by Tax Increment Funding (TIF) that shuffles our city’s property tax revenue from our schools and police and fire departments to pay for construction of houses/apartments or commercial property or if it is funded by federal community block grants or both, it is pure folly for our city council to speculate in real estate during our economic Greater Depression benignly called just a “recession” by our president and Congress.
    If the Wishing Well Apartment redevelopment project is solely funded by TIF, then our city council members must be oblivious or have ulterior motives for ignoring the “shadow inventory” second punch of this greater depression.
    Currently, in Fullerton, there are 3,235 houses in foreclosures, 6,609 houses in preforeclosure, 4,138 bankruptcies and 4,331 tax liens.
    Based on the numbers supplied in this blog, it cost our city over two million dollars to “make prettier” an apartment complex. Where did our city council find two million dollars when it is crying poor and cutting our city’s funding for education, police and fire protection?
    Since 2009, Orange County has lost 118,000 jobs and its true unemployment rate is close to 20%. The job forecast for California is 0 to 1.0 %. These numbers and statistics beg the question; how will this money be repaid to Fullerton’s city coffers?
    Federal Reserve Chief Bernanke’s “unusual uncertainty” about the economy’s less than 3% growth next year clues most of us in to the fact that families willing to pay higher rents for the privilege of living at the Wishing Well Apartments is just Fullerton’s city council members’ speculation.

  5. #5 by Who Cares on July 25, 2010

    No wonder the streets don’t get fixed. Stupidity at its best here.

  6. #6 by Time for a RECALL on July 26, 2010

    This has to be the WORST council ever. Spineless, career people who are scared to stand up and do anything.

  7. #7 by No more on July 26, 2010

    city staff pet projects! Enough for god sakes

  8. #8 by What? on July 26, 2010

    I think you have your facts wrong, Tony.. They did not sell the appartments for $100. You should check that again…

  9. #9 by Anonymous on August 31, 2010

    What we do know for a fact in fullerton is that, the surroundings in that area needed to improve so what’s happened? Instead of our city putting our police to earn our tax payers money, take control over bad situations and in-force fullerton city codes over the years; trouble makers have been moved and scattered into other areas of fullerton not rich/not poor to be able to grow and destroy even more …..It wasn’t a poor people’s issue, it was our city not taking responsibility issue!

  10. #10 by poortenant on October 24, 2010

    There should be some focus on why these places became so dilapidated in the first place. Where is code enforcement you ask? Doing nothing and getting paid well to do it. I tryed to improve living conditions in my apartment complex, which is inspected annually by the city because its a tax credit property. I was ratted out evertime I complained, KIm Plack , the senior code enforcement officer, gave out my apt number after promising she woudlnt, the first time I called.
    They did nothing at my complex accept lie to the city council about how bad it is, because they are too lazy to do anything.
    Anyone interested in getting Kirk Warren, Kim Plack, Linda Morad fired?

  11. #11 by FullertonFarce on October 24, 2010

    Kirke Warren is a disgrace, negligent, and a fraud. Citing someone for a supposed violation that would take one person, one minute with a tape measure to disprove? Check. Cite somone for a code violation when that code is inapplicable? Check. Claim a code enforcement officer that actually visited a site (unlike the cowardly Mr. Warren, who rarely comes out of his rat hole office to face the music) said one thing when they said exactly the opposite? Check. Watch admin’s youtube video of this feeble minded fool and the half-wit city attorneys to get a taste of the idiocy.

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