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Warehouse name to appear on 60 Freeway signs after Moreno Valley expands reach of World Logistics Center Parkway

The name of a planned Moreno Valley warehouse complex will appear  on new 60 Freeway exit signs after action by the Moreno Valley City Council on Tuesday, May 21. And the name of a city pioneer will soon disappear from the freeway corridor.
Caltrans spokeswoman Jocelyn Whitfield said the new freeway signs likely will be put up in early 2020.
In February 2018, the council changed the name of part of Theodore Street — earlier named for Theodore Clark, a city founder — to World Logistics Center Parkway south of the 60. The World Logistics Center is Highland Fairview’s planned 40.6-million-square-foot development on the city’s east side.
At the time, the council left the Theodore name intact to the north.
A 60 Freeway sign alerts motorists to the approaching Theodore Street exit in east Moreno Valley. The Moreno Valley City Council has renamed the street World Logistics Center Parkway north and south of the freeway, and new freeway signs coming next year are expected to reflect the new name. (File photo)
However, in order for Caltrans to post only one name on freeway signs and not charge Moreno Valley a significant amount of money for them, city officials were told the street name had to be the same on both sides of the 60 Freeway, a city staff report states.
So city staff members sought, and received, narrow council approval Tuesday for changing the name from Theodore Street to World Logistics Center Parkway in the section between the freeway and Hemlock Avenue, too. The council OK’d the change 3-2, with council members David Marquez and Carla Thornton voting no.
City spokesman Timothy Carroll said in an email some freeway signs will have a shortened version, “WLC Parkway,” while others will say, “World Logistics Center Parkway.” City street signs will read, “World Logistics Center Parkway,” he said.
Councilman Ulises Cabrera said he had concerns earlier because the city was looking at paying “a large amount of money” for freeway signs, but now Caltrans will foot the entire cost. He voted for the change.
Marquez voted against it, saying he didn’t want to pay for new street signs either, and that the change amounted to free advertising for Highland Fairview and Iddo Benzeevi, its president and chief executive officer.
“The World Logistics Center has not even taken off yet. It’s still in the court system,” Marquez said, citing lawsuits against the development, which could one day cover one-tenth of the city.
He characterized the new name as “a gift of public funds.”
The council approved the warehouse project in 2015 and it has faced opposition for years. Supporters say the center would bring much-needed jobs and boost the local economy, while opponents say it would worsen air quality and traffic as it clogs roads with diesel-powered trucks.
Thornton, who served several years on the city’s Environmental and Historical Preservation Board, voiced concern about the name change.
“Theodore for many of our residents symbolizes something — it symbolizes our history,” Thornton said.

Related links

Why some in Moreno Valley are questioning street name change, planned road work near future warehouse complex
Moreno Valley to change historic street’s name for warehouse project
Moreno Valley board backs pitch to rename part of Theodore Street after World Logistics Center
California Supreme Court won’t review World Logistics Center ruling on environment
WORLD LOGISTICS CENTER: Moreno Valley OKs megawarehouse on 3-2 vote (UPDATE)

Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said the pioneer’s name won’t disappear entirely.
“Theodore will still be there,” Gutierrez said. “All we are actually doing is moving it a few more feet up to Hemlock.”
The council also voted 4-1, with Marquez dissenting, to choose a preferred design for modernizing the World Logistics Center interchange that features three roundabouts and to designate the interchange a city “gateway,” making it eligible for special landscape and architectural treatments.
The name change also required expanding an earlier removal of “historic landmark status” for the name Theodore Street. The vote to do that was 3-2, with Marquez and Thornton voting no.

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