InSite Development unveils plans for new BLVD project

InSite Development's Scott Ehrlich speaks at a press conference Tuesday to announce a new project along The BLVD.

LANCASTER – Another BLVD project, headed up by Insite Development’s Scott Ehrlich, is on the way. This one will be constructed on the corner of Date Avenue and The Blvd — on the grounds of the former Woolworth’s store.

InSite developers joined city officials Tuesday for a press conference to announce details of the new project. Dubbed “The Woolworth Building” by InSite Development, the 8,000 square foot, two-story complex will house both retail and office space. The original tiles along the sidewalk bearing the Woolworth name are to be kept in place.

Steven Derryberry, whose law firm will be located on the second floor of the new building, said he proposed to his wife in the vacant lot two years ago.

“It preserves a historic building,” said Ehrlich. “I love the fact that we will continue to use the Woolworth sign…it gives us a little bit of nostalgia.”

The first floor of The Woolworth Building will be used as retail space for two or three establishments, while the second floor will be occupied by Kestler-Derryberry, an existing law firm on The Blvd.

“We’re keeping people on The Blvd that have been on The Blvd a long time,” Ehrlich said, adding that the law firm had approached him seeking a solution that would keep them on the Blvd.

“Where they’re currently at is made for more commercial and retail space, so for the last year and a half we’ve been looking for space to build their office,” he continued. “I couldn’t be more happy that we’re keeping them on the Blvd… I actually believe our mayor is going to be very jealous of the building, he’s going to wish he moved here before.”

Ehrlich said the building will be his company’s first build-to-suit project, meaning the Kestler-Derryberry law firm worked with local architects to design the whole top floor of the new building.

“They said ‘this is how we want our office to look,’” Ehrlich said.

For Kestler-Derryberry partner, Steven Derryberry, the area holds a personal significance, as well.

“October 9, 2010, I actually proposed to my wife on this space right here, right in front of the bulldozer,” Derryberry said. “I plan on blowing up a big picture of that scene and keeping it in my office to always remember.

Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith (left) and Scott Ehrlich of InSite Development.

Derryberry said he’s looking to grow his firm as a result of having the new space.

“I hope there’s more of this development here on the Blvd — mixed-use, office space on the second floor – it’s really good for business,” he said.

Ehrlich said the financials of the deal was put together “creatively” and did not cost the city any money.

“Leveraging other funds that the city was already using allows us to build this property,” he said.

InSite Development plans to begin construction on The Woolworth Building later this spring and complete the project by summer 2013.

  23 comments for “InSite Development unveils plans for new BLVD project

  1. Sam
    April 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    How about a BLVD or TownCenter type shopping center in West Lancaster. I hope city officials realize that there are people that live on the West side that need shopping centers too. There is too much land that is ready to florish: 50th and N, 60th and N, or even the disputed 60th and L.

    Lets go for a Brand Blvd (Glendale) and Americana type shopping center as well.

  2. J. Ripper
    April 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Everyone knows Rex won’t be jealous or wish he moved there. He’s getting McMahan’s for a relative song. No insider stuff going on there.

    • April 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      yeah, a fraction of what it was worth. Other businesses were turned away, when they inquired about the building.

  3. J. Ripper
    April 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Hey, I for one avoid the BLVD because it’s a pain in the arse to drive thru and park. If you want a good example of an area that the BLVD *wants* to be like, look at Brand Blvd in Glendale or numerous other shopping districts around SoCal. They all have parking garages. Yes, this is Lancaster, not a suburb of LA, but you need close public parking, and you need directions to it well-marked. The BLVD does not seem to have nearly enough of those things.

    • William
      April 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      I swear that the BLVD’s median is full of cars that belong to employees of the various businesses. Even at slow times, it’s full near the BeX area when the restaurants and coffee and yogurt shops are nearly empty.

      Wait till it’s fully developed and the driving and parking will be horrible. One of the things I liked about the Antelope Valley when I moved here 20 years ago from down below was the ease of parking everywhere. Well, the BLVD driving and parking situation reminds me of the hassles of LA and the Valley. No thanks. And there are only about 2 blocks worth strolling down if you’re a tourist or visitor unless you like window shopping banks and law offices.

      The landscaping is really nice but the overall feeling of the place is just plain weird.

      • April 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

        It’ not weird, it’s a disgrace to the world of architects. It was not well planned,nor is it functional. This place will be so congested when it’s completed, no one will want to go there. I think it will have the opposite effect and steer people away,
        rather than draw them in. Oh and be aware…they pull people over after leaving BEX…

        • William
          April 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm

          “…disgrace to the world of architects.” I love it. I can’t help it but every time I’ve seen that ‘thing’ on the corner in front of BeX, it reminds me of the movie ‘Contact’. The first try in the movie blew up spectacularly.

          Does BeX still have a ‘B’ grade from the health department? Last year, it had a ‘B’ and so did Marie Callender’s. What a ‘world class city’ you have, Rex.

          The BLVD wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for Parris’s big fat mouth bragging about it like it’s ‘Times Square’. If you were to hear him talk and then go see it in person, there’s a big gap between him and reality.

  4. CKAY
    April 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Difficult to say what shell corporation and/or subordinated deed that establishes who owns it but we all know who indirectly paid for it.

  5. AV Town Crier
    April 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Scott Erlich not only re-developed the BLVD–but evidently owns it as well. Ace, did you mention ‘insider?”

  6. April 18, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I want to know too, what is creative financing? Smell a rat…who really owns the Blvd? Can you say Bell…

  7. Aaron P
    April 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    There goes parking for about 30-40 cars that are parked there everyday while eating at the lemon leaf. Insite Dev does not care about parking. Pretty soon there will be No Parking and people will just drive on though.

    • Adam Chant
      April 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

      The Woolworth foundation was never designated for parking. There are 32 parking spaces for lemon leaf including 2 ADA spots behind the building and another 4 out in front. That doesn’t even consider the additional 250 spots at the Library or 40 additional spots on the BLVD. (ALL of this ignoring the assigned parking spaces for the apartment residents)
      Within 300 feet of that business there are over 350 parking spaces. The argument about available parking is inaccurate and out of touch with how parking management is being handled in today’s mixed-use districts.

      There is a parking management study for the BLVD and it does consider both short term and long term parking management. It has been presented to business owners and the city though multiple iterations of open discussion. There have even been public discussions about the parking plan in the last month or so. Everyone is taking the parking on and around the BLVD very seriously.
      Anyone involved will agree that I have been more than thorough in my questions and criticism of the study. I have scrutinized the plan in detail including doing my own parking count and made suggestions on how to better manage the rambla parking for the benefit of the businesses. I have been to all but 1 meeting on the matter and even had direct meetings with the company doing the study. As a business owner that requires a high volume of traffic (both pedestrian and vehicle) for my business’s success, I’m confident that the parking situation on the BLVD is neither a problem now nor will it be in the future when the plans in the management study are followed.

      • William
        April 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        ‘assigned parking places for the apartments’???? Does that include guests? Most urban type apartment complexes have overflowing parking around the neighborhoods. I suspect that in a couple of years, homeowners a block or two from the BLVD will complain of cars parked in front of their houses from the BLVD.

        • Adam Chant
          April 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm

          Actually home owner parking is addressed in the management study. There are community programs that have been implemented in other locations like Melrose that provide a quick process to warn and/or cite vehicles that park in residential areas. Additionally the parking enforcement revenues are to be managed by the Association of businesses and not the city so all funds are use by the Association to maintain the downtown district. IT IS NOT A REVENUE STREAM and that has been expressed by everyone that parking enforcement in the downtown district will not be used as a revenue stream. Oakland tried it and it literally crippled a revitalized area.

          “So roughly, about a thousand spaces and that’s adequate”

          There are about 5300 parking spaces in the downtown district. Even with all of the new businesses and a MAJOR event at LPAC the total usage is less than 60%. During the average busy day the downtown is only about 38% occupied.(Trying to remember those numbers off the top of my head-but they are close) Obviously the parking on key areas of the BLVD are almost always at capacity during peak usage times, but most every business has parking behind the buildings with rear access.

          The downtown district has adopted a parking system that shares spaces to increase the integration of a community rather than laying out asphalt farms that just don’t look all that good. It’s a change of philosophy from what we are used to, but it really works well when it is planned from the beginning. That is being done here and it’s also being scrutinized by the public and businesses alike.

          It’s one thing to bring up valid points about issues, but constantly submitting platitudes wastes everyone’s time and frankly hurts the businesses who have been a part of this community for many many years.

          • William
            April 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

            That sounds good on paper but if you want to go to a particular business and have to park 2 blocks away or circle the block to find a place behind it, that sounds like places down below.

            It just doesn’t seem to be easy and convenient despite all the talk otherwise people here and in the AV Press wouldn’t have been complaining about it since it was built.

            I don’t recall people complaining about parking at the Mall or its restaurants in the media or at other shopping centers around the Antelope Valley.

            One of the appealing qualities about the AV is the sense of wide-open spaces and the BLVD is the opposite, tight, narrow, inconvenient. Wait till the trees and shrubs mature. It will seem like narrow hallway. If that is a ‘change in philosophy from what we’re used to’, that doesn’t necessarily make it better just different.

            I’ve lived in and been to other cities with attractive downtown districts and the BLVD despite its expensive makeover isn’t quite the same. I lived in Monterey which has a nice downtown and Carmel has lots of nice, interesting little shops and whatnot. Even doing the summer when parking is a scarce in Carmel, it’s still worth a walk past attractive shops if you have to.

          • Scott Pelka
            April 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

            Adam… 5300 parking spaces, then how does Rex get 30,000 people to attend these events if say all the parking down the blvd is removed for the event.
            They would have to drive in 7 to a car if they could find parking. And for that fact who wants to park at the railroad parking lot and walk 4 or more blocks to shop and have to walk back carrying all your shopping.
            Heck old town Pasadena has at least 6 parking structures I can think of besides on street parking for the area. And its still miserable to shop and go to unless you have a certain place to go to and that can be a chore.
            And if you have to make a delivery or conduct business in old town Pasadena it has to be done before 11am. I am not a fan of old town but it works a lot better than Lancaster does.

          • Adam Chant
            April 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

            Scott will there be enough parking spaces at the Lancaster City Park this weekend for the Poppy Festival? No, but they still have the event. People are bussed in from remote parking lots and with the experience the city has in successfully doing that at both the Fair Grounds and Poppy Festival future major events will also consider remote parking locations that are easy to get in and out of with shuttle transportation to and from the BLVD.
            I have been very vocal about this and it’s a VERY good point. It impacts businesses, the public and residents that live around the BLVD during these events and was discussed. Some suggestions are using the old WalMart parking lot (345 parking spots 1 mile from the BLVD) and other parking lots close to the BLVD that would not be normally occupied during the hours of the BLVD events. The best part is that if say Lancaster Market Place parking is used it will provide more traffic for the center and people will patronize those businesses too. That is a proven example of how the BLVD can and will provide benefits to more than just the strip of stores between 10th and Sierra HWY.

            Fact of the matter is I even proposed that AVTA provide free shuttles to and from the BLVD this weekend for the Poppy Festival. People parking around the BLVD could get a shuttle to the Poppy Festival and those at the Poppy festival could get a shuttle to and from the BLVD. It provides additional parking for all and exposes the public to the BLVD.. I suggested it a little late and they were unable to get the logistics worked out in time, but maybe next year.

      • April 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

        So roughly,about a thousand spaces and that’s adequate?

        • Adam Chant
          April 19, 2012 at 8:07 am

          I think that if we want to go into additional details about the parking arrangements on the BLVD then maybe it should be in the Readers Speak section.

          • William
            April 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

            Are you ‘managing’ this site?

            You are replying to a comment that was on topic re: the BLVD and parking is a concern that you wrote at length about in this thread but others should go to the Readers Speak section.

            In fact, ‘…’ was replying to one of your several lengthy comments with 1 short sentence. Are you familiar with “Do as I say, not as I do”?

          • Adam Chant
            April 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

            No I just didn’t want to get called out for continuing to take the discussion off topic here. Plus if you haven’t noticed the reply system on this forum isn’t the greatest and if you go too many threads deep it becomes almost impossible to read.
            Which is part of why I tend to go up a reply thread to make my comments and quote replies at that level.

            I’m all for open discussion on this matter and would have hoped that more people would had attended the public meeting about the parking management study. Instead everyone is going to attend the council meeting and cry about how they were not involved in the process and buck it even without looking at it objectively.
            There are a lot of great points that are presented and the fact of the matter is this isn’t the study company’s first rodeo and I’m only one of the many vocal businesses on and around the BLVD that have expressed frustration over current perceived and actual parking arrangements.

  8. ed
    April 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    What does he mean “creative”? They used other funds that the city was already using, but it did not cost the city any money? Sounds like a dance to me.

  9. April 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Another, addition to the congested Blvd. I hope they did parking studies? How come Arrow couldn’t get a make over?

Comments are closed.