'Whole Foods in the Park' Project May Still Be Many Years Away
BY BILL KOENEKER
Just when is the Whole Foods market coming to Malibu? If the gauge is the planning stage, then the Malibu City Council approval recently of selecting a consultant to prepare the Environmental Impact Report means the project is still years away.
There was no discussion about it. The staff report indicated Camarillo-based Impact Sciences, Inc. was tapped as the consultant to prepare the EIR document for the planned Civic Center Whole Foods in the Park shopping center.
Last November, the council directed planners to seek proposals for consulting services for the EIR for the project. A total of 15 proposals were received. Impact Sciences looked to be the best by the planning staff that reviewed all of the RFPs.
The total cost of $227,935 will be paid for the EIR by the applicant. Generally it takes about up to a year for the EIR to reach the planning commission's table or longer.
Steve Soboroff, who is spearheading the project, has stated that the project, which consists of the Whole Foods store and four commercial buildings on a six-acre site, would hook up to the city's wastewater treatment plant, although it could still be several years before it is built.
So if someone asks, "When is Whole Foods coming to Malibu? In local parlance, "Soon."
In the mean time, the City of Malibu is planning a farewell party for Papa Jack's Skate Park, which is located on the property and named for its previous owner, on Oct. 1.
The skate park has operated in conjunction with the city's parks and recreation department for more than 10 years. It is closing to prevent it's inclusion in the EIR, according to Soboroff.
"We have extended the right for the SB park to stay, rent free, for as long as possible," Soboroff told the Malibu Surfside News. "Oct. 31 is that date. [The] agreement is signed and complete. We also donated $25,000 to the relocation, I sit on the relocation committee to help, and we are paying for the Oct. 1 event, [and] are doing all we can. Zuma or Bluffs Park seem cool. The city is working hard," Soboroff said.
Other relocation suggestions have included the Malibu High School campus, the unoccupied triangle of land on the corner of Webb Way and Civic Center or one of the other undeveloped parcels in the Civic Center area.
The city's skateboard park subcommittee will meet at Malibu City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at noon, after The News goes to press.
An unofficial flyer for the event is requesting that parents bring their children and skateboards to the event.