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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Development of Lanterman Property – as of January 2017

Below are frequently asked questions and responses appropriate at the date above regarding the Lanterman property project.  As the project progresses and/or as additional questions are received, the questions and responses will be updated.

  1. How did Cal Poly Pomona acquire the Lanterman property? How much did it cost?
  2. What does Cal Poly Pomona plan to do with the Lanterman site?
  3. How much is it costing Cal Poly Pomona just to maintain the Lanterman property until a decision can be made to retain or relinquish the property?
  4. Why is the University spending money on hiring consultants relating to the future of the Lanterman project?
  5. What happens if the University decides not to move forward?
  6. What happens if the University decides to move forward with development of the property?
  7. Why is revenue generation a factor in the University’s thinking about the Lanterman site?
  8. What criteria will President Coley use for her decision about whether or not the University should retain ownership of the Lanterman site?
  9. Can the public weigh in on how the property should be developed?
  10. Why can’t the University just leave the Lanterman site as undeveloped open space or turn the site over to the College of Agriculture as an extension of the adjacent Spadra property?
  11. What is the condition of the old buildings left over from the old Lanterman Development Center?  Will the old buildings be torn down?
  12. What kinds of uses would the University consider for the future of the Lanterman site?
  13. Will development of the Lanterman site worsen the existing parking and traffic problems around the main campus?
  14. Will there be a connection between the main campus and the Lanterman site?  Will it be necessary for people to drive their cars back and forth between the main campus and the Lanterman site?  What about the traffic?  Will there be enough parking?
  15. Why can’t the University just use the property to build more academic buildings needed by the University?
  16. Could the University just sell the Lanterman site to a private buyer and use the sale proceeds to pay for the University’s needs?

1. How did Cal Poly Pomona acquire the Lanterman property? How much did it cost?

The State of California transferred jurisdiction of the 309-acre Lanterman property from the Department of Developmental Services to the University in July 2015. The University did not pay to acquire Lanterman, but the University has the responsibility to maintain the property until a decision is made regarding the future of the site.

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2. What does Cal Poly Pomona plan to do with the Lanterman site?

The University plans to use the site to support its academic mission and benefit the surrounding communities.  However, specific development plans have not yet been developed.  The first step is to determine whether it is feasible for Cal Poly Pomona to develop the property – the pre-development due diligence.  To that end, Cal Poly Pomona has engaged a pre-development consultant, Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK), to assess the property.   This due-diligence is essential in order to make an informed decision.  Cal Poly Pomona has until September 2017 to decide whether to move forward with a development plan or relinquish jurisdiction.

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3. How much is it costing Cal Poly Pomona just to maintain the Lanterman property until a decision can be made to retain or relinquish the property?

It costs approximately $1.9 million annually to secure and maintain the property and its infrastructure, most of which was constructed between the 1920s and 1960s. The primary cost factors are security and general maintenance and repairs.  The costs are mitigated by income received from: film companies that pay to make shoots on the property; and from support from the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation.  The University annually uses approximately $700,000 in State funds to maintain the property.  This fiscal year (2016-17) the expenses will increase due to the yet-to-be determined costs of the pre-development consultants.

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4. Why is the University spending money on hiring consultants relating to the future of the Lanterman project?

The size, scope and complexity of the Lanterman project require the assistance of a highly qualified team of professionals representing a variety of disciplines connected to land use and development, such as:  engineering, architecture and design, real estate development, city planning, economic analysis, historic preservation, and financing. To ensure decisions are fully informed by the best and most comprehensive information, it is necessary for the University to engage highly qualified consultants to provide detailed studies, analyses, and recommendations.

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5. What happens if the University decides not to move forward?

Cal Poly Pomona recognizes the significant potential of the property, especially given its proximity to the main campus.   The campus hopes to be able to move forward with development of the property.  However, if the campus determines that development is not feasible, Cal Poly Pomona would relinquish jurisdiction of the property to the Department of Finance as required by the agreement between the Department of Finance and the CSU.

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6. What happens if the University decides to move forward with development of the property?

If Cal Poly Pomona determines it can develop the property, a master developer will be selected to assist the campus.  Development will be focused on support of the University’s academic mission, the potential benefits to the surrounding communities and the region, the historical significance of the site, and financial return.

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7. Why is revenue generation a factor in the University’s thinking about the Lanterman site?

Revenue generation is needed to offset the operation and maintenance of the site and some of the costs of pre-development studies and site development.  Excess revenue will provide resources to support the University’s academic mission. Positive cash flow will supplement University funding and avoid using University funds that might otherwise be devoted to the teaching and learning enterprise.

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8. What criteria will President Coley use for her decision about whether or not the University should retain ownership of the Lanterman site?

The Academic Master Planning process will help identify the potential opportunities at Lanterman that will support the University’s academic mission. The potential opportunities to support the academic mission will be President Coley’s primary consideration. The President will carefully review the findings of the pre-development consultant’s report and the recommendations of the campus implementation team.  President Coley will also consult with the Office of the Chancellor.  The final decision will require the approval of the Chancellor and the CSU Board of Trustees.

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9. Can the public weigh in on how the property should be developed?

Cal Poly Pomona welcomes input from its constituents, including the general public.  If the campus determines it can move forward with the development phase of the Lanterman property, an outreach program will be put into place.  Constituents internal and external to the University, as well as interested parties will be given opportunities to provide input.

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10. Why can’t the University just leave the Lanterman site as undeveloped open space or turn the site over to the College of Agriculture as an extension of the adjacent Spadra property?

If development were determined to be feasible, the University would intend to determine the best use for the property in the context of supporting the varied and multiple aspects of the academic mission and benefiting the surrounding communities.  Consideration would necessarily be given to the historical context of the property and the need for a positive cash flow.  In that context all ideas may be entertained.  At this point in time, no specific decisions have been made as to how the property will be used.

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11. What is the condition of the old buildings left over from the old Lanterman Development Center?  Will the old buildings be torn down?

The findings of the pre-development consultant will inform the University of the condition of the buildings and infrastructure on the property, much of which was constructed between the 1920s and 1960s.  Determining which, if any, buildings would be torn down would depend upon the report of the pre-development consultant, agreements with the State Historical Preservation Officer and the specific plans for development.

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12. What kinds of uses would the University consider for the future of the Lanterman site?

The University will consider a wide range of uses that support the academic mission, benefit the surrounding communities and the region and produce a positive cash flow.  The Urban Land Institute’s Los Angeles District Council and Orange County/Inland Empire District Council prepared a preliminary study of the Lanterman property and proffered findings and recommendations.  Included in the report is a “teaser” vision that provides examples of the types of uses that might be considered.  Said report is available for review on this website.

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13. Will development of the Lanterman site worsen the existing parking and traffic problems around the main campus?

Cal Poly Pomona does not expect the development of Lanterman to negatively impact parking and traffic around the main campus.  Moreover, if the decision were made to develop the property, full compliance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) would be required.  Impacts on parking and traffic around the campus would be determined as decisions about development of the property are made.  Negative impacts, if any, would be mitigated as required by CEQA.

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14. Will there be a connection between the main campus and the Lanterman site?  Will it be necessary for people to drive their cars back and forth between the main campus and the Lanterman site?  What about the traffic?  Will there be enough parking?

The campus is currently in the pre-development stage to determine if it is feasible to develop the site.  It is premature to answer such questions at this time.  However, it would be highly desirable to have a strong connection between the main campus and Lanterman.  Related transportation, parking and traffic issues would be addressed during development of the property as the campus complies with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

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15. Why can’t the University just use the property to build more academic buildings needed by the University?

The property might be considered for academic buildings.  However, because academic buildings do not usually generate funds sufficient to cover the construction costs, it will be necessary to secure the funding for such buildings from the State or through public-private partnerships. State funding for academic buildings in the CSU is very limited at this time and unlikely.  Public-private partnerships will be explored as plans for Lanterman’s development take shape.

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16. Could the University just sell the Lanterman site to a private buyer and use the sale proceeds to pay for the University’s needs?

The State of California expects Cal Poly Pomona to develop the Lanterman property to serve the interests of the CSU and the State.  If the University decides it is not feasible for it to develop the property, jurisdiction of the property will be relinquished to the Department of Finance as required by the agreement between the CSU and the State.

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