Photo Gallery: State of the City Address

FONTANA - It could have been a scene from "Friday Night Lights," with Mayor Acquanetta Warren playing the role of coach.

"Think big," Warren shouted.

"Act big," yelled the audience of about 200 at the Fontana mayor's State of the City Address on Thursday at Jessie Turner Community Center.

This mantra was repeated several times and fit into a big part of Warren's strategy for this year.

"2012 was a great year. We are going to have a lucky year in 2013," she said.

Instead of competing with Orange County, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Warren said "we want to be their friends."

And there will be a new push to develop friends closer to home - more partnerships with Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, Warren said.

As part of thinking big, Warren said Fontana needs to capture more of the $2 billion its residents spend annually.

"We need to stop the leaks we have. ... Walmart, come on in," Warren said.

Late last year, retail giant Walmart filed preliminary plans for two supercenters the would employ 600.

One would be on Fontana's south side, near Sierra Avenue and the 10 Freeway.

The other would be south of the 210 Freeway at Sierra.

For the north-side location, Warren said in an interview that the city is looking for a more upscale approach to its design, something that would fit in with what's called the Fontana Promenade Specific Plan.

The city still wants to pursue upscale shopping and dinning in that area, she said.

Look for Fontana's emerging auto center along the 210 Freeway to grow with a new Kia dealership next year and a Fredson RV Center, Warren said.

"It would be the first recreational vehicle dealership along the 210," Dan Sladick, Fredson's owner, said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Sladick said he plans to close his outlet in Santa Ana and move to Fontana - but first he has to buy the land - at least four acres.

"It's not easy," he said.

Many land owners he's talked with have owned their property for years and seem in no hurry to sell, he said.

In her address, Warren noted that Fontana will continue to get a giant boost from three major interchange construction projects under way:

The 10 Freeway/Cherry Avenue interchange.

The 10/Citrus Avenue interchange.

The 15 Freeway/Duncan Canyon interchange.

The Duncan Canyon project is expected to pave the way for over 1,580 acres of development.

Commercial and office centers built next to the interchange will create more than 16,000 jobs in addition to the tens of thousands of jobs in the construction industry over the next 10 to 15 years," Warren said.


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