City officials and others gathered earlier this month to hold a ground breaking ceremony for the project.
The property is a former Ford and Hyundai dealership that was demolished. It's being remade into a 172 multi-family apartment project that includes 26 moderate-level affordable units. The property, at 2777-2855 Foothill Blvd., would also have 15,000 square feet of commercial retail space.
Hutton Companies purchased the property from Jeanne Gillette who with her late husband David operated citrus groves until the late 1960s, said Jeanne's son David Gillette.
"Companies and individuals have choices about where they go and what they do," Mayor Don Kendrick said.
"And the Hutton company has decided that La Verne is a place they would like to create something of value for themselves and for the community."
The company had been working on the development with the city for about two years.
"They've managed it through three different distinct land uses," Felix said.
"Originally agriculture, then a car dealership for about 30 years and now through what's now to become La Verne Village. And you don't see that every day. They've been in this valley for several generations."
The project was approved by the City Council on May 30, 2011.
Councilman Robert Rodriguez, who has spent 30 years on the council, said he was looking forward to the project.
"I'm not sad," Rodriguez said, when asked if he would miss the dealership.
Brian McNerney, president/CEO at La Verne Chamber of Commerce, said the project would be a "shot in the arm" and create jobs and living units.
The project is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2014, Felix said.
Anyone interested in the village as a potential resident or business owner can visit huttoncompanies.com.
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