Bridge Development Project
Introductory remarks by the Applicant, Bridge Development Partners, LLC:
After listening to the feedback of the Upland community, Bridge Development has made extensive changes to its proposed Bridge Point Upland project, a state-of-the-art, 276,250 square foot retail logistics center located on approximately 50 acres of land at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Central Avenue. These changes shrink the project by 75 percent; reduce the number of buildings proposed from three buildings to one; and cut the number of proposed truck trips by 90 percent. Trucks will be restricted to accessing the site from Central Avenue only, and under the revised project plan, there will be no more than 25 trucks per day. Additionally, these trucks will travel during nighttime hours, when the roads are least congested, with the exception of up to only five trucks which may travel to the site during the daytime.
Bridge Development, LLC’s position is this could be an important project in the City of Upland. For more than 100 years, this gateway property has greeted visitors to the City with a vacant, dirt site, and most recently, with rock crushing and recycling operations that are an eyesore and blight on the community. In contrast, the proposed project will beautify the land with a modern, high-end building, nearly 1,000 new trees, and 9 acres of landscaping with all native vegetation. Critically, the existing rock crushing operations will cease and all rock piles will be removed. Further, the proposed project will bring this site into the current era and serve as an economic engine for the City by creating hundreds of construction and permanent jobs. The proposed project presents an opportunity to transform this property with a multi-million dollar investment necessary to grade and landscape 50 acres of land, provide acres of new landscaping, create millions of dollars in economic output and contributions to the City, and hundreds of jobs. Bridge Development is proud to be a part of this transformation plan.
Questions from the Special Joint workshop of the City Council, Planning Commission and Airport Land Use Committee held in June 2019. Responses are provided by Bridge Development Partners or the City depending on the technicality or applicability of the question.
- Why do Bridge Developments Partners want to build in Upland?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The property is located at the gateway to Upland, this property is one of the first areas visitors see upon entering the City, and Upland residents deserve better than a vacant dirt site that has not changed in nearly a century. Bridge will make the multi-million dollar investment in the costly and challenging work of grading, landscaping and prepping the entire 50 acres for redevelopment. This investment will also facilitate future retail opportunities, which to date have not been possible, but which may now be financially feasible after Bridge’s efforts. We believe this plan can be a catalyst for future investment in the surrounding area, including retail opportunities on Foothill Boulevard, which are important in strengthening and adding to the tax revenue base for the city. At the same time, with demand for e-commerce rising exponentially, the site’s proximity to the 210 and 10 Freeways is ideal for a last-mile e-commerce center that serves the residents of Upland and nearby communities.
- How much revenue will the City receive?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development Partners will be paying more than $2.25 million in fees to the City, including nearly $500,000 in transportation fees. But perhaps more importantly, Bridge Development’s investment in transforming this site from an eyesore at the gateway to the City of Upland, into a beautified and landscaped modern development, will allow for future productive use of this property and neighboring properties for decades to come. Bridge’s $10 million in investment in grading and landscaping will finally make this site usable after more than a century, and attractive to future users, including potential retail opportunities. Bridge will also be making important upgrades to Foothill Boulevard, even though not required; these include adding new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and landscaping which will make the Foothill Boulevard lots (which are not a part of this project) much more attractive to development, including retail. Finally, the hundreds of employees on-site will create significant demand for food, goods and services in the immediate area, generating additional tax revenue. We believe that this project will have numerous and significant benefits for the City and Bridge Development is proud to be a part of this signature project.
- Is the Applicant willing to consider smaller buildings?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: We have listened closely to feedback from the City and the community and have re-imagined our design. Our project has been downsized significantly from three warehouse buildings totaling nearly 1 million square feet, to one building totaling approximately 276,250 square feet.
- Who is going to pay for the improvements to 13th Street?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Trucks will no longer be able to access the site from 13th Street, and 13th Street is no longer proposed as a truck route for the project, a significant change from the prior proposal. Nonetheless, while truck travel is prohibited on 13th Street, Bridge will still pay 100% of the costs of repaving 13th street to Benson Avenue. 13th Street will not be reconstructed or widened to meet truck standards, as 13th Street is not designated for truck travel by the City. Additionally, Bridge will fund new landscaping, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks on approximately 1,000 feet of Football Blvd. parallel to the proposed project site.
- What are the specific traffic impacts to Benson Avenue?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The City is in the process of preparing an environmental analysis of the project, which will determine the project’s traffic impacts, if any. However, trucks will no longer be able to enter or exit the site off of Benson Avenue and 13th Street, and instead will be limited to Central Avenue. Further, the project’s truck traffic has been reduced by 90 percent, down to only 25 trucks a day, with all but five trucks accessing the site during nighttime hours when the roadways are least congested. Therefore, no significant traffic impacts to Benson Avenue are anticipated.
- What are infrastructure impacts and who will pay for them?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: At one quarter the size and with 90% fewer trucks from the original plan, the new proposed Bridge Upland project is significantly scaled down. Given this substantial reduction, including only 25 trucks a day, the project will have far less impacts to infrastructure than the prior project, which will be paid for by a variety of development fees. Additionally, Bridge Development will be funding improvements to the City’s infrastructure beyond the project’s impacts and outside the project site. While the project does not include most of the parcels directly adjacent to Foothill Boulevard, Bridge will go ahead and pay for new landscaping, curbs, gutters and sidewalks over approximately 1,000 linear feet of Foothill Boulevard, which will dramatically enhance the aesthetics and attractiveness of the street. Bridge will also pay to repave the cracked and deteriorating 13th Street segment north of the project site for car traffic; however this roadway will not be rebuilt or widened to meet truck standards, as trucks will no longer be able to enter or exit the facility from Benson Avenue and 13th
- What are the hours of operation for the building? Will they be 24/7?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The hours of operation of the one proposed building will be 24/7, however, only 25 trucks in total are proposed for the project, down by 90 percent from the prior proposal, and all but 5 of these trucks will use the roads at nighttime. Additionally, the building is set back significantly from Foothill Boulevard. The building is very far from any sensitive receptors, such as schools and hospitals, therefore the Project’s operations are not anticipated to generate any noise that will impact surrounding uses.
- What are the results of the Noise Study?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: A revised initial study which included a Noise study was prepared for revised the project and is under review with the City. However given the site’s distance from any sensitive receptors, such as homes or schools, and given the 90 percent reduction in truck traffic, no significant noise impacts are anticipated.
- Why not put housing on the site?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Residential is not a compatible use with the adjacent Cable Airport and residential uses are prohibited on portions of the site. The site’s proximity to the airport would have significant noise and other impacts on residents.
- Who is the tenant going to be?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development is currently working with a very well-known, Fortune 100 company that is looking to make this project one of its flagship facilities. This project would be a one-of-a-kind, innovative pilot project that would get customers their online-ordered packages quicker and more efficiently than ever before, and would specifically serve the consumer demand of Upland and nearby communities.
- Is the Applicant buying or leasing the property?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development Partners will have long-term lease for the property.
- What is the reasoning for doing an MND instead of an EIR?
CITY RESPONSE: A CEQA initial study and all technical studies have been revised pursuant to the changes that have been made to the project and are currently under review by the City to determine whether the project can be processed as a MND or an EIR. Pursuant to CEQA, after a project has been deemed completed, the City has 30 days to make a determination whether the project will require a MND or an EIR.
- Can the public be allowed more than 20 days to review the MND?
CITY RESPONSE: Given the amount of interest on this project, staff will provide more than the minimum 20 day public review period required by CEQA.
- Are the overhead power lines on Foothill Boulevard going to be placed underground?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The project site does not border Foothill Boulevard, as there are a number of parcels adjacent to Foothill that are owned by other entities. Modification of the overhead power lines is not proposed as part of the Project.
- Has Montclair and Claremont been notified that this project is being proposed in Upland? Will Montclair and Claremont allow the Project’s truck to go thru their cities?
CITY RESPONSE: Once Staff determines the project is deemed completed, a notice of filing and plans will be submitted to the Cities of Claremont and Montclair for their review and comments. Additionally, the CEQA document when finalized will be sent to surrounding cities and other public agencies for their review and comment.
- Are streets in Montclair and Claremont discussed in the Traffic Impact Analysis?
CITY RESPONSE: Yes, the traffic study for the project will analyze intersections in the Cities of Montclair and Claremont. The traffic study will be included in the environmental documentation for the project.
- If any one of the proposed ingress/egress driveways into the site were eliminated, would the Traffic Impact Analysis need to be revised?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Yes, the traffic study has been revised based on the new project driveways, which is based on trucks being restricted to travel to Central Avenue only. Cars and vans are assumed to exit the site from Central Avenue, two driveways on Foothill Boulevard, and 13th
- What mechanism will be in placed to require truck drivers to stay on the specified truck routes?
CITY RESPONSE: Central Avenue will be the only street that will provide ingress and egress to the site for trucks, and the project trucks will be required by a condition of approval to use this route only. Further, the City has a Code Enforcement Division which has the authority to issue violations for projects that don’t comply with City requirements, which violations could ultimately lead to fines or revocation of operating permits. Additionally, Central Avenue will provide the quickest and therefore best access for truck drivers to the site during the nighttime hours, given that most of the trucks will be traveling from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
- How will construction of this project affect traffic congestion in the City?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The project’s 50-acre site will accommodate all construction equipment, trucks and worker cars, therefore, no truck staging or queuing will occur on public streets. Additionally, since neither import nor export of soil will be required for the project, there will be no haul trucks using the roadways. Finally, the project’s construction is very short with buildout anticipated by August 2020. Therefore, we do not expect traffic to be substantially affected by the project’s construction.
- Are there any wildlife or habitat issues on the project site?
CITY RESPONSE: The project site is completely disturbed and has little to no vegetation or wild life, however any potential impact to these resources as well as others will be fully analyzed in the environmental documentation for the project required under CEQA.
- Long-term studies in the Inland Empire show pollution is high in communities with high concentrations of warehouses and diesel trucks. With this in mind, will these warehouses increase pollution in our region?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Pollution is largely the result of diesel emissions from trucks, and the revised project reduces the number of truck trips by 90 percent, for a total of only 25 trucks per day. Further, pollution is exacerbated by trucks idling in traffic, and nearly all of the project’s truck trips would occur at night when the roadways are least congested. As a result, we do not anticipate that this project will result in substantive increases to regional pollution. However, a thorough environmental analysis of the project’s potential impacts relative to air quality will be analyzed, published and made available for public review.
- Is the proposed warehouse use designated in the City of Upland Zoning Code as a Light Industrial or Heavy Industrial use?
CITY RESPONSE: The project is zoned Commercial/Industrial Mixed-Use (C/I-MU) which is intended to accommodate a variety of industrial regional retail and support commercial activities. It is also intended to encourage development of businesses within the City and maximize the potential for job generation. The proposed retail logistics center is a permitted use within this Zoning District.
- Does truck traffic increase or decrease property values?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development’s position is the transformation of this site from a 50-acre rock crushing operation at the gateway to the City, to a beautifully landscaped property with a new modern facility, will raise the property values of the entire community. Not only will Bridge be redeveloping the Project site, but Bridge will also be investing in major improvements beyond the Project, including creating new curbs, gutters, sidewalks and landscaping on Foothill Boulevard, and repaving 13th Street. Bridge’s significant grading and investment in the Project site will also facilitate future potential retail opportunities, which to date have not been possible, but which may now be financially feasible after Bridge’s investment. We believe this plan can be a catalyst for future investment in the surrounding area, including retail opportunities, which will be important in strengthening and adding to the tax revenue base for the City.
- Has the Applicant thought about buying additional property on Airport Way?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development has spoken with nearby property owners, but to date, we are not aware of any opportunities to acquire additional land on Airport Way.
- Is it possible to extend Central Avenue to 13th Street?
CITY RESPONSE: In the Circulation Element of the Upland General Plan, 13th Street is not shown to connect to Central Avenue. Additionally, a future extension of 13th Street and Central Avenue will interfere with the Airport.
- Has the Applicant considered utilizing Dewey Way as the only point of access into and out of the project site?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Dewey Way is not adjacent to the project site.
- The design for the structures include a, "medium blue reflective glazing". Does the applicant foresee that reflective glazing/skylights causing accidents for pilots next door at Cable Airport?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The project will follow all FAA and other regulatory guidelines regarding potentially reflective materials to avoid creating any hazardous conditions for pilots.
- Working with CEQA and AQMD on a construction project can be difficult, how will you be able to handle issues and delays related to California‘s strict environmental laws?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development has years of experience complying with California’s strict environmental regulations, including cleaning up contaminated sites and addressing numerous other regulatory requirements. We are fully prepared to work with all necessary agencies during construction to ensure successful and rapid construction.
- How will these facilities affect the City for years to come? What will happen when they need more space and look toward residents to sell their homes you would be encroaching upon with these warehouses? We've seen this happen in neighboring cities.
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The City retains full authority and control to approve or disapprove all future projects in the City, including any future development on the project site. No future or additional development can occur without the City’s approval.
- With the City almost entirely built out, why would an industrial warehouse be appropriate?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: The project site is located adjacent to Cable Airport, which means that the types of uses that can be built on the property are limited. The site is also very close to the 210 and 10 Freeways, making it an ideal location for a light industrial use. The terrain of the site and its very large size also means that a significant and costly investment is needed to grade and prepare the site to make it usable. Bridge is prepared to make this investment, which would facilitate other uses for the site in the years to come.
- With more warehouses, we often see more crime. How do they plan to secure these premises?
CITY RESPONSE: The City is not aware of any data that supports the hypothesis that increased warehouse development correlates to an increase in crime.
- Citizens across the Inland Empire have expressed their dissatisfaction with more warehouses being built in their cities. How do you plan to mediate their concerns?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: Bridge Development’s position is that this property is unique in its size, lack of productive use spanning at least a century, and significant costs required to make it ready for future use. The proposed building will also be unique in that it will be a last-mile center for e-commerce, and Upland residents will likely receive packages faster and more efficiently because of the proximity of the retail logistics center. Bridge is prepared to fund the investments needed to make this site usable for the century to come. At the same time, the City of Upland reserves the right to approve all future development in its jurisdiction, therefore any future development would require the City’s approval.
- What kind of jobs would this project bring to the City?
BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT RESPONSE: This project will bring hundreds of both construction jobs and permanent, full-time jobs once the project is operational.
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE APPLICANT ON 10/17/19.