CHULA VISTA, Calif. -
A unique partnership is paying off for the city of Chula Vista and an Eastlake-area shopping mall.
Earlier this yeaer, the Otay Ranch Library opened at the Otay Ranch Town Center's Food Pavilion. It is open five days a week.
"Here it gives us a chance to come here at better hours, kids can come and check out the library," said Chula Vista resident George Kalfayan, who regularly takes his two children to the library.
General Growth Properties, which owns the Otay Ranch Town Center, gave Chula Vista the space rent-free to open a boutique library. Budget cuts forced the city to close its old Eastlake branch, which had dwindling hours anyway.
The Eastlake branch attracted about 112,000 visitors the last full year it was open. More than 69,000 people have visited the Otay Ranch Library since it opened less than six months ago -- a 23-percent increase.
"We think the library just really adds to us being a fixture in the community," said Otay Ranch Town Center General Manager Tim Colby.
While the Town Center has given the space to the city for free, it also benefits from that additional foot traffic.
"It makes us more popular in the community and it gives us an extra draw to bring people to the shopping center," said Colby.
The foot traffic translates into additional sales for the mall, and those additional sales translate into increased sales tax revenue for Chula Vista.