A major apartment complex adjacent to the Target store in El Centro is back on track following the end of a work stoppage that began seven months ago due to a dispute between the developer and builder, the Desert Review learned on Oct. 14.
“Work has resumed. We’re hoping to get it finished by December,” said Martin Hsu, a spokesperson for Southern California-based developer YK America.
The 84-unit first phase of Town Center Villa was scheduled to be available for tenants during the summer. The site is between Cruikshank Road and Bradshaw Avenue east of North Imperial Avenue.
A dispute between YK and Patterson Builders of Torrance brought work to a halt in March, leaving just a security guard at a once-bustling worksite. Looming unfinished apartment buildings gathered dust for months in an eerie scene reminiscent of projects abandoned during the last recession.
Stoppage of the project threatened to leave an ugly void in an area of El Centro where vacant fields are sprouting sleek urban development, as well as doing nothing to aid Imperial Valley’s shortage of apartments.
Now, new residents are expected to be moving in and frolicking in the complex’s pool by the end of the year, Hsu said. He praised El Centro city officials for their patience with the project.
“The city has always had our back,” Hsu said. “One thing I really appreciate is their professionalism.”
Hsu added loose ends were cleaned up with local subcontractors hired for the project.
“We pretty much paid everyone off in the Valley. No one got burned,” he said.
YK has been an active developer in El Centro over the last decade and that is expected to continue. Another 156 units are planned for Town Center Villa. The firm has also developed the nearby commercial site that includes Subway, H&R Block and the University of Phoenix.
El Centro building officials could not immediately be reached for comment.