Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Norm Reeves rents Cerritos College property to store cars, makes a foundation donation

Norm Reeves Honda are taking up two whole rows of the South parking lot of Cerritos. They are destined to move to the former strawberry fields Photo credit: David Jenkins

Cerritos College has recently begun a partnership with Norm Reeves Honda to store extra cars on a five acre vacant lot, formerly occupied by a strawberry field from Manassero Farms on 166th St. and Studebaker Road.

Norm Reeves will be paying $35,500 in rent on a monthly basis, in comparison to Manassero Farms, which paid $1,700.

Vice President of Business Services Felipe Lopez, and Cerritos College President Jose Fierro have been working on this project for several months.

A year ago, the Board of Trustees “decided to convert the existing contract with the Menesera farms to what they call a month-to-month contract” according to Lopez, which allowed the college the opportunity to form a partnership with Norm Reeves Honda to “help build the relationship with our current automotive tech program.”

The college has worked with Manassero Farms for over 12 years, usually maintaining rent around $1,500-$1,700.

“We were receiving about $1,700 a month of rent for five and a half acres with our previous tenant with Manassero Farms and the new contract is about $35,500 with Norm Reeves so obviously the economics don’t add up.

“In this area you can’t even rent a house for $1,700 so obviously it was a contract that needed to be negotiated,” Fierro said.

Fierro and Lopez met with the city of Cerritos early in May to discuss the intention of changing the lot, and agreed to a five-year lease with Norm Reeves to rent the lot.

In return, Norm Reeves agreed to, “provide a contribution to our foundation on an annual basis which would then turn around and also provide scholarships to students,” according to Lopez.

The lot will also be used for expanding the Facilities Department, but also an overflow parking lot for staff and students.

Because the college is currently resurfacing the parking lots, it will provide an area when the bigger lots will be under construction for extra parking, such as when Lot 10 will be resurfaced at the end of this year.

The excessive parked cars created some frustration amongst the student body during the first week of the semester, when the cars were unexpectedly parked on Lot 10 due to unforeseen miscommunication between Fierro, Lopez and the city.

To remain in good standing with Norm Reeves, the cars were parked in the middle instead of the back of the parking lot because the back portion of the lot is used by the community motorcycle classes, but only used 160 parking spots

The extra income will be used for scholarships and expanding the Cerritos Complete program, and potentially create jobs for students as well.

“Last year we were facing a budget shortfall of 3 million dollars and we were able to reallocate some dollars we were able to do some modifications in our budget and save money. The shortfall was eliminated and this past year we ended up not having a negative budget,” Fierro said.

He plans on applying the same process if the estimated shortfall for the coming year due to low enrollment affects the budget.

“The idea [for the extra income] is to increase revenue for the institution, generate additional dollars for scholarships and supplement the general fund if we continue to have decline in enrollment so we should be able to use some of those dollars until we get back on track,” Fierro said.

The lot will be covered with fabric fencing and vines, will include low lighting, contrary to what Fierro has heard, and the trees, pavement and root removal on the sidewalk will be taken care of as a courtesy from Cerritos College.

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About the Contributor
Jenny Gonzalez
Jenny Gonzalez, Fall 2017 Editor in Chief
Jenny Gonzalez is the Fall 2017 Editor-in-Chief at Talon Marks. She initially joined Talon Marks to copy edit and decided to pursue more than copyediting. She has previously held the Opinion Editor position for Fall 2016 semester and News Editor for Spring 2017 semester. Jenny's major is English with a minor in journalism and hopes to transfer to UCLA or UC Berkeley.  She hopes to work in a publishing house and will pursue a Master's in Library and Information Sciences. She also wants to own her own bookstore one day.
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Norm Reeves rents Cerritos College property to store cars, makes a foundation donation