Deal Saves Longtime CU Branch From Eminent Domain

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OXNARD, Calif. – Officials with Pacific Oaks FCU and the owners of the Carriage Square shopping center have hammered out an agreement to allow the credit union branch to stay at the center, averting an eminent domain takeover of the branch by the city.

The deal also allows the owners of the dilapidated center to move forward on a long-awaited plan to refurbish the largely vacant, boarded-up shops and build a large Lowe’s home improvement center as an anchor store to attract business.

The deal calls for the credit union to move to a different location in the shopping center. The plans include demolishing most of the older structures, including the building the credit union currently occupies.

City officials, under the authority of Oxnard’s redevelopment agency, were prepared to step in and take over the credit union’s lease. Under the law, a government agency can force property owners or businesses to sell property at fair market value to make way for projects deemed necessary for the public good.

But at a meeting last week, the City Council agreed to drop plans to use eminent domain and instead gave the two sides more time to work out a deal. Mayor Tom Holden said at the time that the two sides were close enough to iron out differences without the city getting involved.

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