The City of Poway is trading in the abandoned Poway Chrysler Jeep car lot on Poway Road for something a bit more dependable: a Toyota dealership and a Lowe's Home Improvement store.
At their August 17 city council meeting, the mayor and city councilmembers will decide whether to redevelop the empty car lot by entering into a lease agreement with Poway Toyota. The auto dealership will move from their current lot across the street to the former Chrysler lot and combine it with two other lots that they plan to purchase for what will be a 45,000-square-foot mega-dealership.
"The new Toyota site will serve as a catalyst to eliminate blighting conditions, spur economic activity, and attract investment into the project area," reads a study attached to the staff report. "These defunct dealerships have become an eyesore to the community and are primary contributors to economic and physical blight."
The blight on Poway Road has worsened since the economy shifted to reverse in 2007. Four auto dealerships in four years have shuttered the doors, including Poway Chrysler Jeep, Poway Chrysler Dodge, JR Auto Sales, and General Motors Chevrolet.
Despite the fact that the auto-industry has yet to recover, Poway's Redevelopment Services Department went forward with purchasing the former Poway Chrysler site for $3 million in an effort to jumpstart economic development.
The city has high hopes for the auto dealership, projecting 160 car sales per month for the new dealership. The city expects Toyota's new digs to generate $432,000 in sales-tax revenues in the first year, which is $129,000 over the current sales-tax income. The extra $129,000 will be used as rent for the property. However, if sales-tax revenues fall short, the developer is required to pay a lump sum with interest. After 12 years, if Toyota remains on the site and all other agreements are met, the city will sell the property to the auto company for $1.
Another facet of the city's redevelopment plan focuses on the lot that will be left vacant after Toyota relocates to its new location. According to the August 17 agenda, Lowe's Home Improvement is in the process of purchasing Toyota's old car lot as well as the "underutilized" Poway Chevrolet lot as the site for a new store.
The city council will meet on August 17 at 6 p.m. for final approval.