Local Developer Sues Monrovia for $106 million
Demise of Redevelopment and Poor Economy Railroads Monrovia’s Transit Village
A local developer who has built several office parks along Huntington Drive is suing the City of Monrovia and the former Redevelopment Agency for $106 million – a sum nearly three and a half times the City’s general fund budget.
“Samuelson & Fetter has levied upon us a lawsuit that would destroy the community that they helped create,” Mayor Pro Tem Joe Garcia said. “We are shocked and saddened that they felt it was necessary to take this action.”
“$106 million? That would cause extreme financial hardship for the City,” Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said. “We are at a loss to explain why they believe they have suffered this level of injury, or any injury at all, for an alleged breach of an agreement under which Samuelson & Fetter was never able to perform. We have always been partners, and thought that we shared the same goal – to bring a quality, transit oriented development to an area of Monrovia that is in need of amenities, including open space.”
The complaint, filed on behalf of Samuelson & Fetter on Aug. 24, alleges Monrovia did not live up to its agreements with the developer regarding the Station Square Transit Village, an 80-acre transit oriented development located just south of the I-210 Freeway.
Specifically, according to the complaint, Samuelson & Fetter alleges that it lost nearly $100 million in profit when the former Redevelopment Agency diverted some of the property planned for residential and commercial development to the Gold Line for use of a public rail project.
“Samuelson & Fetter was made aware of these circumstances and has been at the table the whole time,” City Manager Laurie Lile said. “We have been working with them diligently to settle our disagreements and lay out a land plan that acknowledges the requirements of the Gold Line, while providing a lot that would be suitable for development. We were surprised that they filed suit at this time, when our discussions seemed to be progressing in a positive direction. This lawsuit, however, threatens to unravel the fabric of the community in search of an unrealistic profit on the backs of our residents.”