Carvana’s plan to use 85 acres at Fairplex in Pomona raises concerns – Daily Bulletin

A Carvana distribution and processing center project at Fairplex in Pomona promises to create hundreds of jobs in the area, company officials say, but some neighbors are worried what else the project would bring.

Known for its multi-storey car vending machines, the online used car retailer is considering a site in Pomona where it can refurbish and store used vehicles until the company transfers them to a retail center.

Fairplex, which is owned by Los Angeles County but operated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association, has an agreement with Carvana to allow the company to use its parking lot and, like most of Fairplex’s land use agreements, compensation would be involved, Fairplex spokeswoman Renee Hernandez wrote in an email Friday.

Still in its early stages, the project would eventually require the approval of the city of Pomona. According to Anita Gutierrez, director of development services, city staff anticipate that Carvana will soon submit a land rights application, including an environmental scan of the project required by the state.

The approximately 200,000 square foot operation would be built on 85 acres of parking space near Fairplex’s Gate 9. In addition, there would be storage space for 7,000 vehicles and space for 450 parking spaces on square.

The project would create 700 jobs with full benefits and competitive wages ranging from $ 14 to $ 30 an hour, according to Carvana. The positions would include mechanics, painters, commercial drivers and more.

But the company’s plans have raised eyebrows among locals. At an online open house on June 16, community members expressed concerns about the increased number of vehicles on White Avenue and the additional noise pollution in the area.

The site’s hours of operation would be 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, according to Todd Ward, head of development and rights at Carvana. The site would result in more than 2,600 vehicle trips on weekdays, he added.

When asked by community members to address concerns about the project being so close to a residential area, Ward said Pomona’s location was key to Carvana’s plans to hire in and around the local area. . If approved, the lease would last around 25 to 30 years, he added.

“The closer we can be to the community, the better,” Ward said at the meeting. “We would be an asset to the whole community. “

City Councilor Robert Torres, whose district encompasses the area surrounding Fairplex, said he had already heard some of his constituents’ concerns about the project. Torres said he was not invited to the online meeting and still had questions about Carvana’s plans, including possible noise and pollution abatement efforts to help residents proximity.

“If we were to bring in a big company like Carvana, we have to think about the mitigation dollars and what this project will mean for the community,” Torres said by phone Friday. “All of these concerns are valid. “

In recent years, before the coronavirus pandemic canceled out major events, the surrounding community spoke of concerts and other events at Fairplex that brought traffic, trash and noise to the immediate area, Torres said. . He said he hopes to organize town halls in the near future to discuss these issues directly with the public.

In a statement, Carvana said the Fairplex site, if approved, “would create training and employment opportunities for hundreds of residents of Pomona, La Verne and the greater San Gabriel Valley.” The company added that it “looks forward to the opportunity to become a community asset, creating jobs, significant economic benefits and maintaining a deep commitment to partner communities.”

The company, based in Tempe, Ariz., Currently operates out of eight different locations in Southern California, including a fully automated car vending machine in neighboring Ontario.

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