The High Desert Report » April 2010

Monthly Archives: April 2010


Welcome from the Publisher

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I wish to welcome our current and future subscribers to the 46th edition of The Bradco High Desert Report, the only quarter economic overview of the High Desert region, covering the northern portion of San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. We more specifically address economic issues, affecting the cities of Adelanto, the Town of Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia and Victorville.

As always, we wish to thank all of our article sponsors and our newsletter sponsors for their continued commitment to the Bradco High Desert Report, in our attempt to find positive, factual and interesting information that relates to the High Desert economy.

With the creation of the 45th edition (Fall 2009), we notified our current and future subscribers that the Bradco High Desert Report has become “green” and is now available online, at no charge to any and all parties, who have an inherent interest within the High Desert economy.… Read the full article

City Updates

Town of Apple Valley Update

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By Kathie Martin
Marketing and Public Affairs Officer

The Yucca Loma Bridge
The number one transportation priority of the Town of Apple Valley since 2005, the Yucca Loma Bridge has progressed from a 40-year long discussion, to a shovel-ready project breaking ground in 2010. Included in the circulation elements of Apple Valley, Victorville, and the County of San Bernardino, and a component of adopted regional transportation plans and models, the Yucca Loma Bridge is a necessary and much anticipated project that will improve east/west travel across the High Desert.
Why is it needed?
Regional east/west routes such as Bear Valley Road and Highway 18 are operating at or above capacity, and traffic numbers will continue to increase as build-out progresses across the Victor Valley.
Read the full article
Economy General

Are We There Yet?

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By Dr. Alfred J. Gobar
Chairman, Alfred Gobar Associates

The answer to the question in the title is contingent to some degree on what we mean by “there.” There continues to be some ambiguity regarding the possibility of a double-dip recession, with pessimism increasing during the month of February when this material was prepared. Exhibit 1 compares the current recession with the one that occurred in Southern California between 1990 and 1993 in percentage terms. In many respects based on nonagricultural wage and salary employment, this recession has been a little less severe than the one we had about 20 years ago. In other respects, however, it has been much worse. This recession has had a greater impact on housing construction that the one in the 1990s, suggesting than its impact on the High Desert’s economy will be relatively more severe also.… Read the full article
City Updates

Victorville City Update

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By Tracy Foster, Management Technician
City of Victorville Economic Development

Global Opportunities At The Heart of Victorville’s Future
“Global Access” has long been Victorville’s mantra. The city has worked extensively to promote growth locally and throughout the Victor Valley by targeting international organizations. With the creation of Regional Center of Victorville Development, Inc. and the combination of a U.S. Customs Port of Entry and Foreign Trade Zone #243 at Southern California Logistics Airport, Victorville is poised to become the epicenter for international opportunities in the Victor Valley and Southern California.

Regional Center of Victorville Development
The United States Congress in 1992 enacted legislation to create a Pilot Immigration Program to be administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). One such Pilot Immigration Program is the EB-5, permitting foreign citizens to receive permanent U.S.
Read the full article

City Updates

Hesperia City Update

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By Lisa K. LaMere
Economic Development Analyst

Hesperia Receives Second State Designation
Batting 1000 in 2009, the City of Hesperia’s Economic Development team wrote its second competitive, award-winning state application of the year. December 24, 2009 brought notification of final approval for the Hesperia Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ).
An RMDZ is a specially designated geographical area formed to promote the growth of the recycling industry, administered by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) and implemented locally. The Hesperia RMDZ combines state benefits, such as low-interest loans, with innovative incentives offered by the City of Hesperia.
“This initiative will demonstrate that Hesperia is becoming a ‘green’ community, by reducing our carbon footprint and the amount of waste going into our regional landfill,” said Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith.
Read the full article
City Updates

Adelanto City Update

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By Mike Borja, Management Analyst
City of Adelanto

On The Verge of Tremendous Growth
On the verge of tremendous growth is the City of Adelanto. Located in the western portion of the High Desert, Adelanto is comfortably removed from the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, yet close enough to take advantage of urban amenities and resources.
Adelanto offers the perfect blend of small town charm and big city convenience. It provides an excellent standard of living, while retaining the hard working, civic-minded mentality in which the area was built. With a growing population of over 28 thousand residents and a city that encompasses approximately 52 square miles, Adelanto looks to capitalize in all areas of development.
Since breaking ground in 2005, Stater Bros., in the Adelanto Marketplace, has seen significant growth.
Read the full article

Transportation Projects Planned For The High Desert

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By Jane Dreher
Public Information Officer SANBAG

San Bernardino Associated Governments, known as SANBAG, is the council of governments and transportation planning agency for San Bernardino County. SANBAG is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. SANBAG serves the 2.1 million residents of San Bernardino County.
As the County Transportation Commission, SANBAG supports freeway construction projects, regional and local road improvements, train and bus transportation, railroad crossings, call boxes, ridesharing, air quality and congestion management efforts, and long-term planning studies. SANBAG administers Measure I, the half-cent transportation sales tax originally approved by county voters in 1989 and reapproved to extend from 2010-2040.
SANBAG looks at the transportation needs of the entire county and breaks into specialized committees, such as the Mountain Desert Region Committee.
Read the full article

Southern California Logistics Airport Leads The Way In Job Creation

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By Brad Mitzelfelt
San Bernardino County Supervisor 1st District

After struggling along with the rest of the region with job losses and home foreclosures, the High Desert is beginning to see signs of economic life. In fact, the High Desert is one of the few areas around Southern California where recession-weary residents can actually look forward to a short-term increase in local employment.

Southern California Logistics Airport is leading the way on the job creation front, boosted by the development of a new Dr Pepper Snapple Group facility and a Plastipak Packaging Inc. plant. As winter turns to spring, High Desert residents can expect to see both facilities begin to reach their full economic potential.

Growth at the airport, which local residents have watched evolve since the closure of the old George Air Force Base, will create more than 1,000 jobs in the area.
Read the full article

Caltrans Past and Future High Desert Construction Projects

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By Darin Cooke
Caltrans District 8

Caltrans recently completed construction on Interstate 15 just south of the California/Nevada state line. This project included the addition of a northbound truck descending lane along with bridge rehabilitation at Yates Well Road and Bailey Road. The project also included reconstructing the southbound truck lane with Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) and rehabilitation of both the north and southbound travel ways with an AC overlay. The completion of the project assures a longer lasting product and a smoother commute for motorists. The added truck climbing lane will provide a separate lane for slow moving vehicles. The northbound lane will improve the traffic flow and safety of the roadway.
Caltrans has future projects on State Route 58 and US 395.… Read the full article


The Real Job Creators of California

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By Steve Knight
Assemblyman, 36th District

Over the last year, since being elected an Assemblyman, I’ve strived to meet my commitment to regularly reach-out to constituents – to be accessible to citizens throughout the High Desert. Through one-on-one meetings, community events, town halls and many other activities, the people I meet and the stories I hear of perseverance through the adversity in our economic downturn are uplifting and at the same time disheartening. By far, the loudest message I hear from citizens and business owners alike is that the state’s economy and jobs are priority one.
I’m confident that California’s resilient business men and women are ready and willing to create the jobs we desperately need to boost our state’s economy.… Read the full article


Inland Empire Housing Market

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By Michael D. Reynolds
Director – The Concord Group

The Inland Empire (“IE”) has felt the brunt of Southern California’s housing and economic slowdown. Since peak, home prices in the IE are down a staggering 55%, new construction is at a virtual standstill and unemployment rates have nearly tripled. However, there is a glimmer of hope for the region. Housing affordability in the IE has never been greater. In 4Q09, an allocation of only 20% of income to housing is required to afford a median priced home. Sales volume has trended up seven consecutive quarters, despite a lack of job creation.

However, not all submarkets behave the same. Exurb markets such as the Victor Valley and Central Riverside were hit the hardest, enduring the steepest decline in prices and building activity.… Read the full article

Education General

Victor Valley Community College Construction News

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By Bill Greulich and Al McQuilkin

Victor Valley Community College’s drive to bring its bond-funded construction projects online in an expedient manner will result in high paying jobs for our community and facilities to create new training programs in a time when these items are essential to the economic welfare of our High Desert region. The projects, outlined below, will enhance essential programs, new technology, dramatic energy savings, and service to a burgeoning student population.

Eastside Public Safety Training Center:
Project Awarded: August 11, 2009
Design-Build Team Highland Partnership/Carrier-Johnson Architects
Contract Amount: $ 25,000,000
Total Project Budget: $ 29,946,466
Project Completion: Construction Completion – December 2011
Current Project Status:
Schematic design (SD) was completed as scheduled on September 24, 2009. Design Development (DD) was completed on November 11, 2009.… Read the full article

It’s Water That Drives Our Economy

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By Michael Stevens
Mojave Water Agency Community Liason Officer

Whether you’ve been part of the High Desert for five, 10, 20-years more—or even less time—think back to how much commercial and residential construction our communities have experienced. Although current economic conditions have slowed the growth, it hasn’t stalled and projections that development projects will increase and home building will rebound. Read elsewhere in this publication about the different development projects and tracts that have come or are coming to the Victor Valley and Barstow areas and you’ll likely agree development hasn’t stalled. Later in this article is a description of capital projects by Mojave Water Agency (MWA) that are supporting our local economy.
But whether the development project is a Ross, Lowes, a Super Target, or tract of 200 homes, the various development projects all share two things in common.… Read the full article