New Football Stadium Still Blocked by Walnut
Walnut is proving a tough nut to crack, as far as Majestic Realty is concerned. Majestic is the company owned by super-developer Ed Roski, who is trying to plunk a professional football stadium down at the crossroads of the 57 and 60 freeways, in the city of Industry. The city council of that fair town has been dancing in lock step to Roski's tune from the start, seeing in an NFL franchise revenue streams glittering in the future.
The plan risked getting sacked as soon as it was announced, however, when the tonier communities of Diamond Bar and Walnut waged a ferocious PR and legal campaign against construction, citing traffic and noise concerns generated by the proposed 600-acre complex, that would also include movie theaters and restaurants. Diamond Bar's opposition magically melted away when Roski offered it a $20 million mitigation package that would supposedly ease the effects of traffic on Diamond Bar -- even though the mitigating also included such non-stadium-related pledges as a donation to the construction of a soccer field for a local middle school.
Walnut, however, has held out for stopping the stadium completely -- or for more money than Majestic is willing to cough up to make this stalemate go away. In fact, it seems that Walnut residents may have given up on their hopes to block construction -- their over-the-top Web site doesn't seem to have changed since March and apparently has been replaced by a list of economic demands that have made even Ed Roski blush. A recent article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune says that Walnuts terms include "road and intersection improvements to connect winding Meadow Pass Road through a neighborhood, building a pedestrian bridge at Mt. San Antonio College and relocating the Metrolink station on Brea Canyon Road."
And those are just the items that are known to exist on a secret memorandum. The Trib reports that a Majestic vice president claims the demands would cost his company nearly $77 million -- which explains why the two sides haven't met since the end of May. At one point in its gestation, the 75,000-seat stadium was thought to be a good bet to open in 2011. Now, it looks as though that'll be the year when the last legal hurdles are cleared -- if they ever are.