New details emerge for Campus South

By Tessa Dufore, Sept. 27, 2022

A year after the Poly Post’s first coverage of Campus South, also known as the Lanterman Project, members of the project’s committees shared updates that may include building student and staff housing, shopping areas and opportunities for students.

The university will use the land to create a microvillage, or mixed-use community, for Cal Poly Pomona’s staff and students, much like tech-savvy colleges, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have done. Construction for this massive project will take 10 to 20 years to complete, requiring at least two phases for construction.

The committee for the project condensed over the past year to those who represent the administration directly, but Department of Finance, Real Estate and Law assistant professor Anthony Orlando was the faculty representative of the committee when it decided which master developers to hire for the job, eventually deciding on Edgewood and Greystar.

“We’ve been in negotiations all year with the master developers … and my understanding is that they’re close to finishing them,” Orlando said. “So, I’m hoping that within the next few months, they’ll sign an actual agreement, and that means that the master developers can move forward with actually starting to show the campus what they’re envisioning on that site.”

Acquired five years ago, the full vision for Campus South considers its impact on the surrounding communities.

“We don’t want them to build anything that doesn’t get both campus and community input … because that land is right near city of Pomona, city of Diamond Bar, city of Walnut, and we want all of those communities to have a say before anything gets built,” said Orlando.

While Orlando officially worked as the faculty representative, his role on the committee prioritized the community.

“I’ve always cared about real estate from a community development perspective,” said Orlando. “My Ph.D. is actually in public policy; I didn’t come from a business school originally. My interest in real estate isn’t because it makes money — that’s great, I hope my students all have thriving careers — but I care about it because it impacts the community.”

Development ideas for the land include innovation, commercial and residential zones of various density which fit within the “live, learn, work, play” trend within urban planning.

“There’s a lot of research that shows that communities are more sustainable, they’re more livable, they’re more walkable when they’re mixed-use,” said Orlando. Additionally, he added that students could get internships at innovative companies that utilize future Lanterman offices.

Tessa Dufore | The Poly Post

According to Orlando, for the residential zones, Edgewood and Greystar went as far as doing research on the average incomes of students and faculty.

“We want to build housing that is affordable at different price points for the different people who would be working at the university,” said Orlando.

But new development brings concerns about the historic preservation of the site.

“When the land eventually gets developed, that will all be part of the discussion: what buildings do they maintain and make part of the new build out, what buildings get demolished and what else gets built there,” said CPP Foundation CEO Jared Ceja

CPP history professor Eileen Wallis said that the site was once utilized as an asylum, later used as a hospital and then used as a developmental center before CPP acquired it.

An assessment report from the California State Historic Preservation Office requires that some buildings are preserved and adapted, “because it is a relatively old site by California standards and because it’s an important part of the history of the state,” said Wallis.

Current enrolled students will graduate long before the project is even partly finished, but the site will be accessible to future alums and the community.

“A site like this is an opportunity to build a sustainable, respectful community that will benefit everybody around it, if it’s done correctly, for decades to come,” said Orlando.

Feature image by Tessa Dufore

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