Council hears development updates

Council hears development updatesBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

An item approving the sale of a 12-acre city lot for $105K was pulled from the Ridgecrest City Council’s agenda Wednesday night. According to Mayor Peggy Breeden, prospective buyer Hobbs & Carr Development Corp. pulled out of the project.

The firm intended to purchase the lot, west of the Kerr McGee Sports Complex, for development of multifamily apartments. Council gave no further details on why the developer backed out of the purchase.

During council comment, Vice Mayor Eddie Thomas asked City Manager Ron Strand why he learned about the termination of Community and Economic Development Manager Phenvana “Phen” Panpradith from a local news source, rather than from city staff.

Hired by the city to replace Gary Parsons in September 2017, Panpradith’s last day was reportedly Monday, June 18.

“You couldn’t just send us a text as council?” asked Thomas.

Councilmember Wallace Martin also expressed his surprise at hearing the news through the media. The online news article has since been taken down.

Strand clarified that due to it being a “personnel issue,” he couldn’t notify council, but there was no further explanation.

Meanwhile, Ted Zwicker of NAI Capital said he was working with the city on a 16-acre retail project at the Northeast corner of China Lake Boulevard and Bowman Road, near Walmart.

“It’s too early to give any details, but I’m we’re talking to some tenants,” he said.

Zwicker added that he was parter in developing a 198-apartment complex down the road at the corner of Bowman and Downs Street.

Details were sparse beyond that, see future editions for more on development.

Pictured: Former Community and Economic Development Manager Phenvana Panpradith

Story First Published: 2018-06-22