• A rendering of a tower and apartment buildings with people crossing the street in front of it

      Artist’s rendering of Rubio Village (Photo – City of San Gabriel)

      It has taken 15 years and more than just a village to finally break ground for Rubio Village, the newest development in San Gabriel.

      By Cheryl Cabot

      Completion of construction of Rubio Village, named after Rubio Wash intersecting the property, is projected for Fall 2021. According to San Gabriel Mayor Jason Pu, the City Council has approved the excavation permit and the plan to dig the two-level underground parking structure, which will begin in September. When excavation is complete, it is expected that the building permit for everything above ground will be approved and construction will continue.

      Rubio Village will include approximately 16,500 sq. ft. of commercial space at the street level. Above that will be 159 residential units, three of which will be townhomes and 12 of which will be dedicated to affordable housing for moderate-income households.

      Adele Chang, Rubio Village architect, said:

      I think the number one amenity is really the industrial orientation of the project and the numerous shops and restaurants that will be available on the ground floor, so residents can just come downstairs and have all that available to them,

      Other amenities include plazas based on San Gabriel Boulevard and fountains, a public garden, a large central courtyard for the residents with a pool, jacuzzi and BBQ area and a playground. Additional units and retail on the other side of Rubio Wash will utilize the entire 2.9 acres of land. There will be two bridges across the Wash so that both sides are woven together.

      Dignitaries standing for a photo op

      (L-R) SG City Councilman Chin Ho Liao, SG Mayor Jason Pu, LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, CA State Senator Susan Rubio, SG City Councilwoman Denise Menchaca, and SG City Councilwoman Juli Costanza (Photo – Cheryl Cabot)


      “It hasn’t been easy working with the Wash,” Chang continued, “L.A. County is trying to improve it so there are different heights that we have to deal with in getting utilities and everything back and forth across the Wash. The logistics are challenging.”

      “Challenging,” is a thread that runs through comments about Rubio Wash and construction of Rubio Village, and it is one of the reasons development has taken so long.

      Mayor Pu said”

      This is a challenging site, with the Wash running down the middle of it and, frankly, the empty buildings here were a blight. The bowling alley has been closed for over 20 years now, and this project has been about 15 years in the making. Not only that, the empty buildings were a public safety concern, so having a project here will be a big improvement.

      For years Los Angeles County Public Works (Public Works) on behalf of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District (District) has been working with the City of San Gabriel and the developer, Rubio Village LLC, to improve Rubio Wash and help facilitate the development. Steve Frasher, from L.A. County’s Community and Public Relations office, described some of the issues that required “a great deal of collaborative discussion.” Rubio Wash bisects the development site, but it is an undersized channel requiring upgrading to improve flood protection to the site. The location and condition of the channel also creates some challenges for site development and wash improvements. The proposed pedestrian bridges must meet particular heights and standards. A Flood Control permit is required prior to construction within a District right-of-way, and the development went through concept changes and changes in ownership over the course of the District permit review process.

      Frasher reported that in April 2019 LA Public Works facilitated the permit process by coordinating with the developer to issue the grading permit that allowed the first phase of the project to begin. “The site construction phasing will also require coordination, to ensure the District is able to improve the channel, prior to initiating the final construction phase of the development. Public Works looks forward to continued collaboration with both the City of San Gabriel and developer.”

      (L-R) Alex Wang, President of Panku, Inc, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, and architect, Adele Chang (Photo – Cheryl Cabot)

      Plans for another development across the street

      According to Mayor Pu, it is anticipated that the plans for another development across the street from Rubio Village will come before the City Council before the end of the year.

      “What we would like to see,” Pu said, “is an active, lively area that is pedestrian friendly with a lot of shops and restaurants for the community to enjoy in this part of town. It is a good time for the City, and we are making a lot of progress. We are working hard to be smart and balanced and making sure we get the kind of businesses the community wants and needs.”

      The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Wednesday, August 7, at the site of the multi-use development at 210-217 South San Gabriel Boulevard, San Gabriel. On hand for the ceremony were Alex Wang, President of Panku, Inc. development company, architect Adele Chang, and City, County and State dignitaries.

      Rubio Village ground breaking photo op

      (L-R) Architect Adele Chang, SG CC Chin Ho Laio, SF CC Denise Menchaca, State Senator Susan Rubio, Panku, Inc., President Alex Wang, Mayor Jason Pu, L.A. County Supervisor Katheryn Barger, Henry Lo, SG City Manager Mark Lazzaretto (Photo – Cheryl Cabot)


      [This article has been updated with few minor corrections and the groundbreaking photo op, August 18, 2019, 2:20 pm]

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      1. Betsy says:

        can you explain what is the relationship among West Maingate LLC , Rubio Village LLC, & Panku Inc & Nova Lawyer Office?
        what is the role for Alex Wang?

      2. Nadine Salas says:

        Please please would like to see some diversity in our City with shops and restaurants offered for different choices available for all to enjoy …a mixed diversity.
        Coming together to live in this beautiful rich historical community of San Gabriel..
        With diversity comes interest in …wanting to shop and dine ..locally ..bringing in revenue ..and culture of different backgrounds..
        Bringing back restaurants like Norms, Millies Cafe, Dennys, Marie Caledars ,Coco’s etc.
        Is that asking too much..is there a possibilty that can happen..bottom line some of us crave “Diversity” and I do believe many others do agree with my comment.

        • Vickie Huntley says:

          Why don’t we concentrate on our first responders and make sure they are taken care of, then street repairs, adding more diversity in restaurants, grocery stores and businesses.

      3. kpoio says:

        Why is the County Public Works paying for the channel upgrade? Isn’t improvements to utilities the type of thing the Developer usually has to pay for and build? Sounds like another GIFT OF PUBLIC FUNDS to a Developer. Who is ‘on-the-take’ here?

      4. Scotty Watty says:

        Cramming more people in…

      5. Sean McMorris says:

        Glad to see that the development will include some affordable housing units.

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