Coming to a Theater Near You

On this week’s Fullerton City Council agenda I caught a glimpse of the upcoming May 21st agenda forecast:

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Not all that interesting until you get to the bottom.

Yeah, it was ugly as sin, but there sure was a lot of it…

The Fox Block, a never ending saga and a classic example of a tail wagging a dog. For years the “rehabilitation” of the historic Fox Theater structure has been used to support all sorts of God-awful lunacy, including residential land acquisition and demolition, new grotesque clown architecture, and the six million dollar relocation of the McDonalds restaurant a couple hundred feet to the east. The “Fox Block,” as the boondoggle came to be known, is a living fossil of the bad old Redevelopment days, when any nonsense could be got away with by City staff playing with Monopoly money. Damn accountability. It’s the Fox Block!

Why this is on the agenda is as yet unknow, but I noticed that one of our Friends “Fullerton Historian” suggested it may have to do with extending a development agreement or some other similar concept. Then I saw the third bullet point above: Disposition and Development Amendment with Frontier. “Frontier?” That’s all? What is this? Frontier Real Estate is our “partner” on the Fox Block, meaning we’re probably taking the risk and they’re goon get any reward – if there is any.

M. Eric Levitt. Will he save us from ourselves?

And finally we see an item simply called “Revenue Option” an oatmealy sort of phrase, but one that FFFF has already discussed. At this meeting the City Manager, Eric Levitt, will try (without too much unseemly enthusiasm) to tie dangling threads heretofore described here: a push poll created to drum up support for enhanced public services; a review of the likelihood that general sales tax might pass at 50%; and a precipitous budgetary cliff looming ahead.

See where this is going? Let’s see who stands up and demands that for our own good we must have a tax increase.

15 Replies to “Coming to a Theater Near You”

  1. All of this because an Italian restaurant wanted to close and an historic movie theater wanted to open. Who is asking for this development?

  2. This became a City staff pet project when they saw there was enough public support to “save” the Fox Theater. But just saving something is not nearly adequate for the Redevelopment Imperative that never passed up a chance to spend (waste) money, especially since no one was ever accountable for failure.

    This morphed into a block-eating monster because nobody on the City Council had the courage to tell staff just shove the hot mess.

    And so the Agency started buying up land – even (affordable) housing on Pomona to facilitate the monstrosity.

    This was about 16 or seventeen years ago and apparently they’re still at it. I don’t know what the agenda item is, yet, but I’d bet it’s another one of those never-ending “extensions” Fullerton gives to fly-by-night developers (see boutique hotel) who have somehow managed to lobby their way into exclusive rights to negotiate.

    1. I vaguely remember the dumbass McDonalds move. I think in the end only Don Bankhead and maybe Kellar voted for it – Quirk got scared off of it by FFFF.

      If I recall the City had already bought those houses on Pomona Avenue across from the high school. Now it’s a parking lot.

      Fullerton being Fullerton.

    1. See my just-now inserted paragraph in the post. Frontier is our “partner” in the ridiculous Fox Block mess.

      My guess is they’re giving up on commercial and are going with another monster apartment block with “affordable” housing.

  3. The deal was made with Fox Harbor, LLC. What is Frontier? Were development right re-assigned? When did that happen?

  4. Wasn’t it our bloated former County Supervisor Sean “I can’t believe I survived childhood” Nelson who pushed to save the Fox Theater and leave this albatross hanging around Fullerton’s neck? Fullerton being Fullerton.

  5. That pic is NOT part of Fox Block. The development company has gone through a few names. It used to be Frontier, Frontier has changed their name to Almquist, after Dan Almquist, the owner. Here is a link from their website about Fox Block: It’s very brief and vague. It will be interesting to see what is going on with them tonight.

    1. Then why does the agenda reference “Frontier.” And wtf happened to Fox Block LLC?

      The picture was the one pitched at one time for the “Fox Block.”

      1. I believe, not sure, that Fox Block LLC was a LLC created solely for the Fox Block development by Almquist for legal reasons (liability, duh). Not an unusual thing for a development project. Almquist is still the developer.

        The parking lot behind A&V has been fenced off pending parking structure construction, with no date apparently set for actual construction. Hopefully some clarity will be provided next week at the City Council Meeting. A timeline would be nice, as there doesn’t seem to be anything standing in the way of beginning actual construction. Not sure what permits may have been pulled. May want to search Fullerton website regarding permits.

        I note that “Chapman Parking” is also listed on the Agenda forecast….so perhaps it is something to do with the parking structure, which I hope will not be some butt ugly concrete monstrosity (but aren’t they all?).

        1. Chapman Parking is going to be about the site of the parking structure on Chapman and Lemon. It was the brainchild of Terry Galvin and built by Redevelopment. It shows up on the Fox Block site plans.

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