Category Archives: City Updates

City Updates

Adelanto – The City That’s Transforming

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Adelanto logo

By Richard Kerr, Mayor

The City of Adelanto is pleased to be a part of the 57th Edition of the High Des­ert Report. Our city continues its trans­formation from a bedroom community with limited commercial and industrial development to one that is becoming a driver of economic activity for Adelanto and the High Desert.

While the city’s burgeoning medical can­nabis industry has buoyed the economic resurgence of our city, make no mistake, Adelanto’s success is fueled by diverse activities that will strengthen our city to­day and into the future.

For example, City Council and I recog­nize that if growth is to occur, whether it’s residential, commercial, retail or in­dustrial, the city must develop a sound system of infrastructure to support the growth.

To this end, several projects will benefit residents and developers alike, includ­ing:

  • The San Bernardino County Trans­portation Authority (SBCTA), in part­nership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the City of Victorville and the City of Adelanto, is working on the Right-of-Way (ROW) and Final Design phases for the widen­ing of Highway 395 from State Route 18/Palmdale Road to Chamberlaine Way.

The $60 million widening project will increase from one to two lanes in each direction, and turn lanes and signals at various intersections will be installed within the project limits. Construction could begin as early as late 2018.

These scheduled improvements along this vital stretch of roadway through our city will relieve traffic congestion but, more importantly, create new opportunities for commercial growth that will generate tax revenues to support vital city services.

Other projects in the works include:

  • Adelanto Road and Rancho Road/Re-Pavement project—will occur from Hol­ly and Adelanto Road to Rancho Road north, from Rancho Road East to Rancho and Bellflower West. The $2 million project should commence in 2018 and be completed in early 2019.
  • Safe Routes to Schools project will see new sidewalks, ramps, traffic calm­ing treatments and pedestrian crossing flashers. The $700,000 project is a col­laboration between the cities of Adelanto and Victorville; to commence in May 2018.
  • Builder DR Horton will be widening Highway 18 and Verbena Road, which will also include a traffic signal modifi­cation. The $3 million project will com­mence in late 2018.
  • Builder Frontier Homes, whose 116 Single-Family homes are underway, has pulled grading permits and will spend $2 million for offsite improvements, includ­ing a storm drain channel and the widen­ing of Jonathan and Poppy Streets.
  • Bellflower Road at Highway 18 will be widened; the $250,000 project will include curb return and relocation of the traffic signals.
  • The long-awaited Lewis Retail proj­ect, located at Highway 395 and Mojave Drive, is in the plan-review process with Kinder Morgan, regarding the highway widening plans and existing fuel lines.
  • Although still at the discussion stage between the City of Adelanto and the County of San Bernardino, a traffic sig­nal is being considered at Mojave Drive and Bellflower Road.

In addition to the infrastructure projects, several other achievements will enable the City of Adelanto to continue along its road of fiscal prosperity and an improved quality of life for our residents. For ex­ample:

  • Korean-American Aircore Cookware has a Conditional Use Permit and de­velopment plans underway to construct a 100,000-square foot manufacturing facility at Rancho and Verbena Roads. The $45-$50 million investment includes a 100,000-square foot stainless steel fac­tory and will bring 250 full-time jobs to the High Desert.

Along with the two-and-a-half acre prop­erty, three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half acre properties have also been purchased by Aircore Cookware at the Rancho site. Aircore’s investment will bring much- needed infrastructure to the area, includ­ing road paving, water and sewer.

Aircore currently operates an 80,000- square foot facility with 100 employees in China and sells products on QVC ,along with a prototype to Starbucks.

  • Goldentree Medical Cannabis Facil­ity hosted a ribbon-cutting in October for its facility located on Yucca Road; the facility will consist of four buildings totaling 50,000 square feet. Goldentree is a closed-loop industrial company that controls every aspect of cultivation, ex­traction, marketing and distribution of the most pristine medicine for patients.

This project will generate up to $250,000 in taxes each year and the hiring of 40 employees.

  • LDS (Lifestyle Delivery Systems) and CSPA Group hosted a ribbon-cut­ting ceremony in October at its facility on Commerce Way, where they took an empty 20,000-square foot building and, using solely Adelanto talent, made sig­nificant—and costly—improvements in order to produce a revolutionary prod­uct—called cannastrips—for dispens­ing medical marijuana. The automated, state-of-the-art facility is expected to cre­ate up to 30 full-time positions, 15 part- time positions and eventually generate millions of dollars in annual tax revenue for the city.
  • The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), managed by the Califor­nia Public Utilities Commission, will provide matching funds for broadband infrastructure in unserved and under­served areas, including rural areas such as in the High Desert and Mojave region, as well as funding for adoption digital literacy programs, which help close the Digital Divide.

—after having been shuttered for three years, Adelanto increased fire protection and paramedic service 100% by adding an additional Captain, Engineer and Fire Fighter Paramedic to Station 322 on Rancho Road. There are 6,000 calls for service annually in Adelanto; increasing the staff 100% and adding an additional engine will reduce response times, and residents won’t have to wait for help to arrive from a neighboring city.

Other projects in the works that will con­tinue the city’s transformation include:

  • An ARCO Gas Station with a conve­nience store and drive-through restaurant will be built at Adelanto Road and Air Expressway, the site of the former Ad­elanto Casino;
  • A carwash, gas station and liquor store to be located at Highway 395 and Cactus Road;
  • 13-acre, 98,000-square foot commer­cial/retail shopping center located at Ver­bena and Palmdale roads.

So as you can tell, Adelanto is no longer a sleepy little town. It has awakened, and developers are continuing to discover that Adelanto is the “City with Unlimited Possibilities.”

In March of this year, Adelanto has en­tered into its first Sister City relationship with the South Korean City of Hadong. Described as a diplomatic platform to promote cooperation and direct engage­ment with its global partners on issues of mutual interest, particularly around busi­ness and commerce, tourism, education and culture, Hadong’s Mayor said that “both our cities are in rapidly developing regions and would benefit from exchang­ing development ideas on urbanization at an international level.”

I couldn’t agree more. To discover op­portunities that exist for development in Adelanto and become a part of a growing revolution, visit: economicdevelopment@ci.adelanto.ca.us or call (760) 246-2300

 

City Updates

Town of Apple Valley City Update

Published by:

Town of Apple Valley

By Orlando Acevedo, Economic Development Office

In the fall of 2017, the Town Council approved a hotel incentive deal, in the form of a Tran­sient Occupancy Tax reimburse­ment agreement, to attract Apple Valley’s first modern-day hotel. The deal returns a portion of the “bed tax” paid by the hotel. Project proponents submitted a development application in early 2018 to build a na­tionally recognized 100-room hotel at Jess Ranch Marketplace.

In December 2017, Apple Valley is­sued a grading permit for the highly an­ticipated Big Lots Distribution Center. Haskell, the engineering and develop­ment firm, commenced foundation work in January. The 1.3 million square foot logistics facility, the largest in the High Desert, will add 300 construction jobs to the area and up to 500 operational jobs when open in 2019.

Frontier Communities submitted a tract map application for 137 single-family homes near Bear Valley and Deep Creek Roads. The project will be reviewed by the Planning Commision in March and is expected to begin construction in the fall.

Tractor Supply Co. has submitted a de­velopment application for an 18,000-sq ft store at the northwest corner of Bear Valley Rd and Braeburn St. The project is expected to go before the Planning Commission in April.

The Town Council recently approved for Belco Development to install over­head power lines to the future Apple Valley Gateway center at the northeast corner of Interstate 15 and Dale Evans Parkway. The action effectively shaves $800,000 from off-site improvements costs. “The Council’s approval of our request to install the powerlines above ground allows the project to remain eco­nomically feasible,” said Steve Farmer, Belco’s Managing Partner. Apple Val­ley Gateway, Apple Valley’s first free­way-frontage commercial center, is a fully-entitled 10-acre, 80,480-square foot project, including retail and res­taurant spaces, fuel stations, and a pro­posed hotel.

The Village Business District Asso­ciation is tackling several major capital projects in 2018, including the paving of John Glenn Road, which will allow the Town to accept the street into its main­tenance system. These improvements will please patrons visiting Off the Grid Brewery, the Rusty Bull Roadhouse, and other nearby businesses.

New and Coming Soon

  • Yucca Loma Bridge opened in May, paving way for future development opportunities at Apple Valley and Yucca Loma Roads.
  • Mary’s Medical Center opened a 12,500-square foot Urgent Care cen­ter in January.
  • Wing Stop at Apple Valley Com­mons opened in Q4/2017.
  • 76 Gas at Apple Valley Commons is expected to open in Q2/2018.
  • 282 new housing permits were is­sued in FY2016-17, more than the last two years combined.
  • The Apple Valley Choice Energy Program launched, offering Apple Valley businesses and residents 3% lower generation rates than Edison, with higher/greener renewable con­tent.
  • Mailbox manufacturer Jayco Indus­tries celebrated their 40th year in business in Apple Valley.

For information, contact Orlando Acevedo at 760.240.7915 or via email at oacevedo@applevalley.org, or visit selectappelvalley.com.

City Updates

Barstow City Update

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California Barstow logo

By Gaither Loewenstein, Economic Development and Planning Manager

Barstow is continuing to build on its economic upswing over the past few years as a number of new businesses be­gan operating in 2017, with additional retail stores, hotels and service enter­prises planning to break ground or open in 2018. We are optimistic that the on­going strong economic conditions and the continuing proactive steps taken by the City Council will lead to further de­velopment in the residential and indus­trial sectors this year as well.

A new 200,000-sq. ft. Super Walmart opened in June, 2017 in the Center on Main shopping plaza, which also includes eight new retail pads available for development. Among other businesses celebrating openings in 2017 were Habit Burger, Fallas, Columbia Retail and Asics at the Outlets of Bar­stow, Mission City Community Health Network, Daylight Donuts, and Sun­set Hills Mortuary. Jersey Mike’s and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened in early 2018, and a new 66-room Best Western Plus is nearing completion. In addition, the World Famous Outlets of Barstow are beginning construction on a 105-ft. pylon sign that will be located on the western edge of their existing parking lot. It will feature a 38 ft. by 32 ft. full-color multimedia LED display.

The City’s historic Route 66 corridor welcomed several new businesses in 2017, including Tractor Supply Company, Borrego Health Barstow Commu­nity Health Center, Entrepreneur Center Barstow, and Roy’s Café. The City also constructed eight monument signs honoring Route 66, with each sign featuring a different classic automobile. Eight bicycle racks were also installed alongside the monument signs, with each rack displaying one of the eight states in the Route 66 highway system. During 2018, the City will explore the potential of highlighting the Route 66 highway and the development of the Mojave Riv­er Valley area by establishing museums in the downtown area.

Later this year the first phase of the Shops at Spanish Trail initiative is ex­pected to begin by breaking ground on a new Marriott hotel, restaurant, and service station/convenience store. This project is located just north of the I-15 freeway at Avenue L, and proposes as much as 800,000-sq. ft. of retail, en­tertainment, personal care and health services development along the avenue during the next few years.

With regard to industrial and residential ventures, inquiries, site visits and discus­sions have continued to increase in the past year, with the likelihood that one or more development projects in Bar­stow will be announced at some point in 2018. The potential for subdivision-scale residential projects is strengthened by the City Council’s continuing initia­tive to temporarily reduce residential impact fees by 50% through December 31, 2018.

Overall, the City of Barstow expects 2018 will be an excellent year for com­mercial, residential and industrial development. The strong economy, com­bined with the city’s low land costs, fa­vorable location and builder-friendly local government, presents outstanding oppor­tunities for develop­ment in 2018 and beyond.

City Updates General

Hesperia Update – Retail Goldmine, Industrial Strength

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Hesperia logo

Lisa K. LaMere, Economic Development Management Analyst

Hesperia has added another retailer to its growing list of those who have sited their first High Desert loca­tion here. The future home of the two-story, 6,200 s.f. Shoe City is undergoing sub­stantial tenant improvements, essential­ly gutting a former florist’s location at Main Street and E Avenue. The whole family will find plenty of selections at Shoe City, including skate and athletic brands and current fashions for women, men and children.

Shoe City started more than thirty years ago in Los Angeles and has expanded into Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, with more than 35 stores in addition to an online presence. Currently, the closest Shoe City is in San Bernardino.

Mama Carpino’s, a foodie favorite of many residents in the High Desert, will open a second restaurant in Hesperia, offering a great culinary option after a movie at the Civic Plaza 12. Property has been purchased on the southwest corner of Eighth Avenue and Juniper Street for a two-phased 16,850-s.f. restaurant with a view of Civic Plaza Park. At this time, a site plan review is taking place and construction plans approvals will follow after entitlement is granted. Look for a 2019 opening.

Hesperia Food Market Photo

Starbucks has opened in Lewis Retail Center’s new High Desert Gateway West at Cataba and Main. Also planned for this location are more than 6,100 s.f. of fast casual concepts for Dickey’s, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, and Fatburger, all anticipated opening by summer. Five Star Nails and a gas station will likewise join these highly awaited eateries.

High Desert residents will enjoy the long-anticipated medical services coming to Hesperia, starting with Kaiser Permanente. The managed care giant’s purchase of approximately ten acres for 50,000-s.f. of medical office buildings (MOB) in Hesperia is welcome news. Kaiser’s MOB will be sited west of the Walmart Supercenter on Escon­dido. Another developer is planning additional medical offices on Bear Valley Road, with a new three-story, 26,520 s.f. medical office building, accompanied by 9,300-s.f. of restaurant and fast casual space.

Dollar_Tree_Hesperia

A variety of housing choices, including commuter-friendly duplexes, affordable senior apartments, and 1- and 2-story infill homes can be found in Hesperia. The 145 single-family residence (SFR) permits issued through 2/27/18 of fiscal year 2018-19 are equal to last fiscal year.

New_Homes_Hesperia

Hesperia’s multi-family housing inventory also will increase in the near future. On the horizon are West Main Villas (100 duplexes/200 units). Muscatel will be the site of 70 apartment units and Frontier Communities is planning 160 units in their two-story apartment buildings. Olive Tree’s 93 duplexes (186 units) will be located on 3rd Avenue. Desert Hacienda on Sequoia will bring another 14 duplexes (28 units) to the city.

 

Hesperia’s industrial strength is being fortified by Mag Bay Yachts’ development of their manufacturing operation on Cal­iente near US Hwy. 395. Construction plans for the two-building, 50,500-s.f. project are being reviewed. In addition, an expansion of the former Heilig Mey­ers distribution center is underway. The additional 128,000-s.f. will bring the total of that facility to 616,800-s.f.

National Economic Development Week this year was May 7-12. Created by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the goal of Econom­ic Development Week is to increase awareness of local programs that create jobs and increase the quality of life, as well as to share successes.

Hesperia’s Economic Development (ED) department focuses on fostering private and public sector invest­ment within the city. The ED team is re­sponsible for:

  • Business attraction, retention and expansion efforts
  • Marketing and promotion of the city as a location of choice for business
  • Increasing the city’s workforce and senior housing stock
  • Improving the quality of life via an array of services intended to support these goals

Hesperia’s ED team has had many ac­complishments in these areas, bringing retailers such as Super Target and Wal­mart Supercenter, Marshalls, JoAnn’s, Ross and lots of eateries – many the first locations in the High Desert. Just this last fiscal year, courtesy of Hesperia’s economic development professionals, more than 258,000 s.f. of projects will have created jobs and brought property and sales tax revenue to Hesperia, all of which benefit our residents. These projects encompassed not only retail but housing, industrial, education, medical and service sectors and included Ae­merge RedPak; The Villas – a 55+ com­munity; Famous Footwear; Aldi; Planet Fitness; Leslie’s Pool Supplies; Dollar Tree; West Main Villas; and more.

For more information about these projects and other opportunities, con­tact Economic Development staff at econdev@cityofhesperia.us

City Updates General

Victorville City Update – Victorville Continues to Experience Strong Growth

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Victorville_logo

By Sophie L. Smith, Interim Deputy City Manager

Victorville has con­tinued to experi­ence strong growth for the High Desert in the second half of 2017. With an in­creasing population of 119,098 residents, our city contin­ues to attract new retailers, manufac­turers, and industrial development.

In mid-February 2017, the city an­nounced that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store submitted plans to operate its first California location in Victorville. The southern-themed restaurant and gift shop becomes the newest expansion to the City’s Res­taurant Row. Cracker Barrel is situat­ed on 1.31 acres, with building space that encompasses 9,550 square feet of the 30,000-square foot expansion pre­viously announced. Of the remaining square footage, retailers such as Star­bucks, Nekter Juice, Which Which Sandwiches, Pieology, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, Café Rio, and the Habit Burger were also developed and began oper­ating toward the end of 2017. The new developments are located adjacent and south of the first BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in the Victor Valley, which opened its doors in early 2016.

Other retail announcements in 2017 included Sit’N Sleep’s grand opening of its 1,300-square foot store. located on Bear Valley Road near the Mall at Victor Valley. In May 2017, Harbor Freight Tools submitted tenant im­provement plans to occupy an existing building on the corner of La Paz Drive and Seventh Street. The Calabasas-based company moved into an exist­ing 15,000-square foot building in the shopping center anchored by the High Desert Indoor Swap Meet and the 99 Cents Only Store and opened its doors in February 2018. In October of 2017, the Victorville Planning Commission approved plans for two car washes that will be built along Bear Valley Road. The Speed Wash will be located on the southwest corner of Topaz, while a Jet Wash Express will be built at the intersection of Bear Valley and Poco­ima Roads.

On August 9 2017, Valley Hi-Toy­ota opened its new facility after a 16-month renovation and expansion to its existing dealership. The dealer­ship has expanded its previous 19,762 square foot showroom to 39,835 square feet. Toyota’s new facility features 47,643- square feet of build­ing space. Additionally, RAM Truck Center previously opened its doors on March 5, 2017, at the AutoPark at Valley Center. The 7,261-square foot facility sits on approximately 2.66 acres. The dealership offers heavy duty RAM trucks such as the 1500, 2500 and 3500 models. The brand has been named Motor Trend Magazine’s truck of the year five times. The City of Victorville’s Auto Park at Valley Center, the only auto mall in the entire Victor Valley, includes nine premier dealerships for residents.

The hotel sector is also growing. Cur­rently under construction on the west side of I-15, just south of the Nisqual­li/La Mesa interchange, is a 106-room Hilton Home 2 Suites. Further north along the 15 Freeway on Mariposa Road and across from the Southwest Gas facility, Mariposa Land Develop­ment, LLC submitted plans to build a four-story, 85-room, Hampton Inn Hotel that will be located on a 1.56-acre lot.

In June 2017, we joined forces with our development partner, Stirling Development, to celebrate the com­pletion of Distribution Center 18, a 370,023-square foot industrial facility at Southern California Logistics Air­port. Distribution Center 18, which was leased to Newell Brands and Plas­tipak, is the second, large-scale indus­trial facility to be fully leased at SCLA in just one year’s time. Between city and private development at SCLA and Foxborough, we have leasing capacity for more than 4.5 million square feet of high-desirable, industrial space in Victorville.

In December 2017, Southern Califor­nia Logistics Airport entered into a lease agreement with Karem Aircraft Inc. for space to serve as a testing area for a new aircraft rotor system for the beginning of the 2018 year. Karem, based in Lake Forest, CA, is an aircraft development and manufacturing com­pany participating in the U.S. Army Joint Multi-Role Technology Demon­stration (JMR-TD) program. Southern California Logistics Airport is one of the nation’s largest industrial airports. Its lack of commercial airline traffic, 360 days of “severe clear” weather, land capacity for expansive facilities and municipal utilities are key factors that have attracted major aerospace clients. State-of-the-art hangars of all sizes accommodate projects ranging from aircraft MRO companies to the painting of large, wide-body aircraft, including 747-800s, 777-300s and the 787 Dreamliner.

For more information about the City of Victorville, visit our website at www.victorvillecity.com or contact us at 760.955.5032.

City Updates General

For Adelanto – The Metamorphosis Continues – City Update

Published by:

City of Adelanto

By Michael Stevens

Communications Consultant, City of Adelanto

The City of Adelanto is pleased to be a part of the 56th Edition of the High Des­ert Report. In the last issue, I talked about “Resiliency, the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–and bounce back stronger, wiser…you don’t have to look any further than the City of Adelanto to see how it works.” I also mentioned how Adelanto “has experienced a meta­morphosis since the great recession of 2008, starting with the election of three new Councilmembers in 2014.”

The metamorphosis is continuing, and just as Reno, Nevada, is often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Adelanto is also becoming the “Biggest Little City in the in the State of California!”

Consistent with the city’s slogan, the “City with Unlimited Possibilities” and supported by a staunch pro-business, pro-development City Council, devel­opers and builders alike are discovering the untapped potential for growth and development in the city. What was once barren land is now being transformed by job-creating, tax-revenue-building projects at various locations around the city. Mayor Richard Kerr indicates that the city is expected to have 11 ground­breaking ceremonies in 2017 and well into 2018. That is progress the city has not experienced in over 20-years in such a short period of time.

The following projects are currently underway or soon to begin:

Clark Pacific—a state-of-the-art concrete manufacturing plant on 110 acres, slated to replace facilities in Fontana and Irwindale and bring as many as 500 jobs to the city. The plant, a two-phase project, is scheduled to open this year, will produce precast concrete structural products for parking structures, retail stores, auto dealerships and others. Clark Pacific is currently 35

building the new football stadium for the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood.

Industrial Integrity Solution—the largest industrial park in the city’s his­tory, 630,000-square-foot HDO Indus­trial Park will consist of 21 buildings (at 30K each) for cultivating, manufac­turing, distributing and testing medical marijuana. It is expected to create 550 permanent jobs and generate more than $2 million in annual tax revenues.

Largest cultivation project currently un­der construction in CA

AirCore Kitchen Cookwear—a manu­facturing facility. The plant is relocating from China to Adelanto and will build a 100,000-square-foot facility.

“Rancho Plaza” at 395—an 18-acre development just north of Adelanto Sta­dium at the vacant northeast corner of Highway 395 and Rancho Road. The project covers just under 200,000 square feet and will include a gas station, 60-room three-story motel, drive-through restaurants, office and retail facilities and a car wash.

Shell Station—the 4,900-square-foot station, large when compared to the av­erage 1,700-4,000 square foot station—will become just the third gas station in the city and is strategically located at the northwest corner of Highway 18 and Bellflower Road. The combination gas station and convenience store is ex­pected to hire at least 11 employees for its 24-hour operation.

Frontier Homes—is building 65 homes on 10 acres in the city off Highway 395 & Cactus;

Projects expected to close after publica­tion of this edition of the High Desert Report:

  • Medical Corridor consisting of a Vocational School/Retail/Commer­cial project on approximately a 22-acre property adjacent to City Hall;
  • Hotel/Commercial/Retail/Indus­trial Development An ap­proximately a 27-combined-acre project adjacent to the Adelanto Baseball Stadium and the Budweiser Distribution Center;
  • Hotel and other commercial and re­tail development on approximately 19 acres at the intersection of Rancho Road and Highway 395;
  • The City Council voted unanimously to approve an 18-acre development just north of Adelanto Stadium at the vacant northeast corner of Highway 395 and Rancho Road. Covering just under 200,000 square feet, the multi-tenant retail center—known as “Ran­cho Plaza” at 395—will see the de­veloper subdividing the current four parcels into 10 in order to build a gas station, 60-room three-story motel, drive-through restaurants, office and retail facilities and a car wash.
  • ARCO Gas Station at the intersec­tion of AirExpress Way and Hwy-395. Poker Card Club Former loca­tion.

The metamorphosis within the City of Adelanto isn’t limited to commercial and residential development. The city is transforming in other ways as well.

Some believed the departure of the High Mavericks baseball team last fall would see the baseball stadium moth­balled. But the City Council signed a unique one-year agreement—including three, one-year options—with the 28th District Agricultural Association (San Bernardino County Fair) to have the As­sociation reach out to promoters, market events and negotiate contracts on behalf of Adelanto. This includes management and operations of Adelanto Stadium.

Under the agreement Adelanto will re­ceive 30% of all revenues generated by events held within the City of Adelanto, and High Desert residents will continue to have excellent venues for a variety of exciting events.

One major success of the partnership was securing the semi-professional baseball team, the High Desert Yardbirds of Pe­cos League, to play a 64-game schedule. Half the games will be played at what is now known as Adelanto Stadium. Other prominent events scheduled at the sta­dium include the phenomenally popular Adelanto Grand Prix, Adelanto Rodeo, concerts, Mud-Run and a host of other activities never before held at the sta­dium.

Adelanto is also home of the High Des­ert’s fourth dog park, located adjacent to City Hall at Richardson Park. Pryke Dog Park is named after the late pub­lisher Raymond Pryke, whose Founda­tion contributed $25,000 towards the project.

To discover opportunities that exist for development in Adelanto and to become a part of a growing revolution, visit: economicdevelopment@ci.adelanto.ca.us or call (760) 246-2300 extension 3063.

City Updates General

Town of Apple Valley – City Update

Published by:

Town of Apple Valley

By Orlando Acevedo

Economic Development Manager

With a popula­tion of 80,350, and an economy driven by 4.2 mil­lion square feet of retail and office space, low vacancy rates, competi­tive lease rates and well-performing units, Apple Valley’s commercial re­tail market is strong. Apple Valley’s unemployment rate continues its strong downward decline to a seven-year low of 6.9% in year 2015. The last monthly numbers reported are for December 2016 at 5.4%.

Mal Riley, developer of the highly successful Jess Ranch Marketplace II and III, has returned to Apple Val­ley to design and develop the Quail Ridge Plaza (formerly known as The Fountains at Quail Ridge) at the NEC of Apple Valley Road and Yucca Loma Road. Riley has al­ready assembled a remarkable de­velopment team, including the DLR Group and, in a rare move signifying the intensity of the project, is bring­ing in two of the largest commercial brokerage firms, Jones Lang La­Salle and CBRE, to assist in leasing. Located near the strongest median income demographics in the region, the project will be designed as a mixed-use concept, including retail, restaurants, office, townhomes (or multi-family) and senior living. The team is expected to unveil the project at the ICSC RECon retail conference in Las Vegas in May.

The Apple Valley Town Council re­cently took action that clears the way for development of a 1.35 million-square-foot Big Lots Distribution Center, located in the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan. The $115 million-dollar project will bring 400 to 500 jobs to the area, expand infrastructure, and affirm Apple Val­ley’s position as a cost competitive alternative to the Inland Empire in­dustrial market.

In mid-2016 the Apple Valley Plan­ning Commission approved Apple Valley Gateway Center, a 10-acre, 80,480 square foot commercial proj­ect at the northeast corner of Inter­state 15 and Dale Evans Parkway. Belco Development, of Murrieta, is proposing to construct a hotel, retail shops and restaurants. Hotel and ten­ant interest is now being accepted.

Apple Valley is on pace to see a 10-year high in housing starts as Pulte Homes begins their fourth phase at Sun City and other infill projects get off the ground. Median home values continue year-over-year growth to $245,000, the highest in the region, at an average price per square foot of $126, with expected growth into the next year.

Yucca Loma Bridge will open to the public with a ribbon cutting on May 19, three years after breaking ground on this $37 million capital improvement project. The project opens up a critical east-west corridor into and from Apple Valley. Now open is the Mojave Riverwalk, a 2.75 mile multi-use trail adjacent to Jess Ranch Marketplace from Bear Valley Road to the town’s southern boundary. The project includes a 12-foot wide concrete path and 12 36

concrete benches. Plans are under­way for more multi-use trails that will link this segment of the Mojave Riverwalk across Bear Valley Road to the Yucca Loma Bridge and con­tinue into Victorville, traversing past several major commercial centers in Apple Valley.

Other recent store openings include Rebel Oil Co., Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 99 Cents Only Store, The Gal­ley Fish Tacos, CrossFit One So­ciety, Samaritan Animal Hospital, 3G Tacos at Apple Valley Airport, DeeDee’s Hobby Emporium at His­toric Apple Valley Inn, Bear Valley Rock n Wood, Nancy’s Clayworks, Rusty Bull Roadhouse, and more.

For more information contact Or­lando Acevedo, Assistant Director, Economic Development and Hous­ing, at 760.240.7915 or via email at select@applevalley.org, or visit www.selectapplevalley.com.

City Updates General

Barstow City Update

Published by:

California Barstow logo

By Gaither Lowenstein

Economic Development and Planning Manager

The economic recovery is in full swing in Barstow, with several new commercial enterprises opening their doors in 2016 and numerous additional retail stores, hotels and service establishments pre­paring to break ground or open in 2017. Optimism surrounding current econom­ic conditions and proactive steps being taken by the Barstow City Council have led to a significant increase in interest on the part of prospective developers in residential and industrial opportunities in the city.

Among the businesses celebrating openings in Barstow in 2016 were Oggi’s Pizza and Brewhouse, Asian Food Court, Marshall’s and Choice Medical Group. 2017 is expected to witness the opening of a 66-room Best Western Plus hotel that is currently under construction; a 103-room Home2Suites hotel, for which plans have been approved and groundbreaking is expected in mid-year; retailer Fallas, which will join Marshall’s and Harbor Freight in filling out the former K-Mart retail space; and a new Super Walmart, which will replace and double the size of the city’s existing Walmart store while making eight new retail pads available for future development. The city’s historic Route 66 corridor has begun to experience a renaissance, with Tractor Supply Company set to occupy the former Barstow Motorcycles shop with a 32,000 square-foot showroom space on the West end of Main Street and Borrego Medical Group currently renovating the former Revolutions Bowling Alley for use as medical offices. In the Downtown Business and Cultural District, Roy’s restaurant is planning to reopen, and throughout the Route 66 Business Corridor the city is erecting eight monument signs honoring Route 66, with each sign featuring a different classic automobile.

With regard to industrial development, inquiries, site visits and discussions have markedly increased in recent months, with several prospective industrial land uses approaching the project proposal stage. There are grounds for optimism that one or more major industrial devel­opment projects in Barstow will be an­nounced at some point in 2017.

The city’s long dormant residential mar­ket has begun to show signs of resur­gence, thanks in no small part to a joint initiative of the Barstow City Council and the Barstow Unified School District Board of Trustees whereby residential development impact fees have been temporarily reduced by 50% through December 31, 2017. This initiative, which reduced residential building costs by $5,000-9,000 per unit, depending upon square footage, has contributed to the city’s first residential building per­mit issuances since 2013 while jump-starting discussions of subdivision-scale residential development projects among landowners and prospective builders.

Overall, the City of Barstow is expect­ing 2017 to be among the strongest years in recent memory for commercial, resi­dential and industrial development. The resurgent economy, combined with the city’s low land costs, favorable location and builder-friendly local government, present outstanding opportunities for development in 2017 and beyond.

City Updates General

Hesperia City Update-Quite Simply, Hesperia Works for Business

Published by:

Hesperia logo

By Lisa LaMere

Economic Development Management Analyst

Six months into the current fiscal year the number of single family residential (SFR) permits issued in Hesperia con­tinues its upward trend, having shown a 155% increase since 2013-14. This was achieved in part with 72 permits issued for 200 planned duplexes at the northwest corner of Main and Mesa Linda Street.

Grading of the 50-acre West Main Vil­las duplex project at Mesa Linda and Main Street has begun. The duplexes, located between Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 395, are well-sited for the 83,000 High Desert residents who commute down the hill for work each day. The one- and two-story duplexes contain vaulted ceilings in two eleva­tions each, and both have attached two-car garages. There will be 172 of the single-story, 1,074 SF, two-bed­room versions available, and only 28 of the two-story 1,330-square-foot op­tions with three bedrooms. West Main Villas is complete with a clubhouse, pool and spa, children’s playground and a sand volleyball court.

On the multi-family front, Eagle Real Estate Group’s 96 low- and medium-income senior apartments are well underway. Leasing activity is brisk in this gated 55+ community, and al­ready plans for another 96 apartments have been submitted for Phase II. A grand opening ceremony for Phase I is scheduled for August 30, where en­tertainment will be provided by the swing band, Phat Cat Swinger.

Retail development in Hesperia con­tinues without pause, and more than 100,000 SF is currently planned or un­der construction. In Lewis Retail Cen­ter’s Phase I of High Desert Gateway at Main and Interstate 15, a 7,500 SF Famous Footwear is opening in April, and an 18,000 SF Planet Fitness is expected to open this May. M&M Jewelers, Leslie Pool Supply and America’s Best Eye Glasses will join them for sum­mer 2017 open­ings. Lewis also has broken ground on the first 16,000 SF of Phase II at Main and Cataba Av­enue, where residents will soon enjoy Starbucks, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, and Fatburger.

A new grocery-anchored center from Rich Development at the NEC of Main Street and Escondido Avenue will fea­ture a 20,446 SF Aldi grocery store, as well as a 10,000 SF Dollar Tree. The center will include a multi-tenant building, Les Schwab Tire Center and Wendy’s. Hesperia is Aldi’s choice for its first location in the High Des­ert. Their closest stores are current­ly in Fontana and San Bernardino.

Aemerge RedPak, a cutting edge technology com­pany that manu­factures energy and beneficial car­bon co-products from medical waste, is building their first west coast plant in Hesperia. Red­Pak safely treats medical waste in a manner that utilizes the waste as a me­dium to produce power and produces recycled treated metals. RedPak is the only facility in California permitted to treat all types of medical waste as regulated by the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The City of Hesperia is pleased to an­nounce funding availability for the First Time Homebuyer (FTHB) Pro­gram. The FTHB Program is funded from the city’s annual allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The City of Hesperia receives an allocation of CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Commercial, industrial, and office properties abound throughout Hes­peria, and this pro-development, cus­tomer service-oriented city is serious about bringing your business to Hes­peria! To see how Hesperia can work for you, visit www.cityofhesperia.us/econdev or contact the Economic De­velopment Department by email at econdev@cityofhesperia.us.

City Updates General

Victorville City Update – A Year of Growth in Victorville

Published by:

City of Victorville

By Doug Robertson

Victorville City Manager

Victorville is the center of growth in the High Desert. In 2016 our popula­tion grew to nearly 140,000 residents; and Victorville con­tinues to attract major retailers, manu­facturers and industrial development.

Last year BJ’s Brewhouse and Res­taurant opened to great excitement on Amargosa Road, adjacent to I-15. In its opening week, our BJ’s recorded sales of $184,000 – the best opening week sales for BJ’s new prototype. BJ’s became the 14th restaurant in Victorville’s “Restaurant Row.”

Restaurant Row has become a destina­tion in our region. And with visibility to more than 98,000 cars traveling the I-15 daily, this dining destination has become a highly profitable investment for retail developers.

Just one year after BJ’s grand opening, we were pleased to learn that another nationally-recognized restaurant plans to locate in Victorville. Cracker Bar­rel Old Country Store submitted plans to build and operate its first California location in Victorville.

Cracker Barrel will be located on 1.31 acres just south of BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant. The building space will encompass 9,550 square feet, with 1,284 square feet under a covered porch.

Cracker Barrel is part of a larger ex­pansion on Restaurant Row being developed by Vantage One Real Es­tate. Plans call for the development of an 11,350-square-foot, multi-tenant building with a drive-thru, as well as one or two free-standing buildings we expect to be used for restaurants. Starbucks, Nekter Juice, Which Wich Sandwiches, Pieology, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, Cafe Rio, and The Habit Burger are expected to be part of this broader development.

Additional retail space was developed throughout several locations in Victor­ville. At Desert Plazas, located along Interstate 15 at the Roy Rogers exit, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts opened in late 2016, creating 74 jobs. Desert Pla­zas is planned for ultimate build-out of 800,000 square feet anchored by Home Depot. The Plazas welcomed a new WaBa Grill and Dickey’s Bar­beque Pit in 2015 to existing tenants such as In-N-Out Burger, Papa John’s Pizza, Winco Foods and Wells Fargo.

In the specialty retail arena, RAM Truck Center is the newest dealer­ship, currently under construction at the AutoPark at Valley Center. The 7,261-square-foot facility sits on ap­proximately 2.66 acres. The dealer­ship will offer heavy duty RAM trucks such as the 1500, 2500 and 3500 mod­els. The brand has been named Motor Trend Magazine’s truck of the year five times.

Additionally, Valley-Hi Toyota is undergoing a major renovation and expansion to its existing dealership. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the new facility will feature an amazing 47,643 square feet of building space. In 2016 we also saw the desert Alfa Romeo franchise added as a co-brand to the existing desert FIAT dealer­ship.

In addition to commercial growth, in­dustrial development has been strong at Victorville’s Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA). Arden Companies, America’s leading manu­facturer and marketer of outdoor cush­ions and décor, moved its west coast operations from Rancho Cucamonga to Victorville last year.

Arden leased half of a 440,000-square-foot manufacturing facility constructed by our master develop­ment partner, Stirling Capital Invest­ments. This facility at SCLA was met with such demand that it was leased before construction was complete. Current SCLA tenant Newell Rubber­maid leased the other half of the space to expand its operation.

Growth at SCLA will continue. Stirling recently announced con­struction of Distribution Center 18, a 370,000-square-foot industrial facility that will be utilized by another SCLA tenant, Plastipak, for an expansion.

Victorville is among the most cost-effective locations in California to do business. Businesses are choosing Victorville because of the investments we have made in our public infra­structure, our close proximity to major transportation routes, our skilled labor force, and our commitment to promot­ing a business-friendly environment.

We are one of the few locations in Southern California that offers af­fordable land and industrial space available for immediate development. With SCLA we also offer businesses a global reach with our Foreign Trade Zone and U.S. Customs Port of Entry. In fact, you might be surprised learn that 60% of all goods moving into and out of Southern California travel through Victorville.

2016 was a promising year for Vic­torville, and we expect this growth to continue in 2017. Look for more an­nouncements in the near future.

For more information about devel­opment opportunities in the City of Victorville, visit our website at www.victorvillecity.com or contact our Eco­nomic Development Division at (760) 955-5032.

City Updates General

Adelanto City Update-Spring 2016

Published by:

City of Adelanto

Adelanto-Resiliency in Progress!

By Michael Stevens

Communications Consultant; City of Adelanto

Resiliency, the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–and bounce back stronger, wiser…you don’t have to look any further than the City of Adelanto to see how it works.

Whatever opinion you might have about Adelanto, good or bad, suspend your con­clusion until after you’ve read this article. Adelanto, the third oldest of the five mu­nicipalities that comprise the High Desert region of northern San Bernardino County, has been known as the “City with Unlimited Possibilities.”

Even though the designation “City with Un­limited Possibilities” remains true, the city now prefers the slogan “Progress by De­sign.” I’ll describe how later.

For the past 46 years, the City of Adelanto has continued to attract businesses and resi­dents due to its prime location in the High Desert. Strategically located within 90 miles of Los Angeles, the city boasts five Indus­trial Parks, including one of the largest areas of industrial land available for development in the High Desert with 11.41 square miles of land zoned for industrial and business zoning, ample vacant land in its 52 square miles, and a pro-business City Council. Ad­elanto is well positioned to accommodate future growth and development.

How has the City Progressed?

Adelanto has experienced a metamorphosis since the great recession of 2008, starting with the election of three new councilmem­bers in 2014 and the appointment of a new city manager in 2016. But more important­ly, the progress didn’t end there. Not para­lyzed by fear of being condemned, ridiculed or criticized, the City Council demonstrated bold, courageous leadership and made sev­eral tough decisions to keep the city from the verge of bankruptcy.

Although the city still faces fiscal challeng­es due to the recession, decisions made that are helping to put the city on stable financial footing include:

  • staff reductions and consolidation of staffing services that resulted in approxi­mately $365,000 in salary savings plus ben­efits;
  • passed an Ordinance and Resolution that will bring prison participation rate rev­enues from approximately $177,938 per year up to $963,600 per year or an increase of $785,662 annually; these measures will also provide one additional police officer (a second when a new facility has been com­pleted);
  • using reserves created by the sale of the Community Correctional Facility to pay for General Fund Budget Deficits.

At only three-quarters of the way through the $13 million dollar fiscal year budget, revenues from permits and fees are up over budget projections by approximately $670,000; these increases are used for Code Enforcement cost recoveries, residential in­spection fees, and permits, licenses and fees related to the new Indoor Agriculture busi­ness to the city. One hundred, thirty-eight business licenses were issued between Janu­ary and March 2016.

City staff and consultants continue to work aggressively to locate other cost savings programs, grants and revenue sources with­out reducing city services.

A Comprehensive Strategy to Keep the City Solvent

As part of an overall strategy that involves aggressive economic development to ad­dress the city’s fiscal challenges, one deci­sion the Council made—that’s generated the most notoriety—was to allow for medical marijuana cultivation.

The City Council thoroughly weighed the pros and cons of allowing marijuana cul­tivation, and chose to move forward only after careful and deliberate consideration, discussions and debate, believing that the positives outweighed the negatives and that steps would be taken to mitigate any poten­tial negative consequences.

The brainchild of Council Member John Woodard, the ultimate financial impact of allowing marijuana cultivation is unknown at this time but is anticipated to create a fi­nancial benefit for the city. At a minimum each applicant (there have been 29 to date) will:

(1) Pay a $7,000 application fee for a per­mit to do business in the city;

(2) Pay a yet-to-be-determined impact fee to mitigate impacts to fire, police and gov­ernmental oversight (this fee will be based on the size of canopy area for each facility);

(3) Pay a $2,735 Conditional Use Permit ap­plication fee to allow the Planning Com­mission to impose conditions that protect both citizens and cultivators;

(4) Construct facilities to accommodate new businesses, thereby creating temporary construction employment along with pur­chases of supplies and building materials in Adelanto and throughout the High Desert;

(5) Create jobs in manufacturing, mainte­nance, marketing, sales, distribution, trans­portation (whose employees will spend and support not only the Adelanto economy but also the High Desert);

(6) 50 percent of the jobs created must tar­get Adelanto residents (assuming they meet or exceed minimum qualifications);

(7) Likely purchase products, supplies and services to be used to support the business in Adelanto or other High Desert communi­ties;

(8) Hire local security personnel who will protect the businesses around the clock and reduce calls for service for Adelanto’s Po­lice;

(9) Pay taxes already required by the IRS, Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equal­ization.

A proposed Fiscal Mitigation Impact Fee (which will turn into a tax in November if the ballot measure passes) would be used to improve: police, fire, street, park, and gov­ernments services, resulting in better servic­es for our residents.

Progress by Design—Commercial Development Continues

Several projects progressing through the de­velopment process that will help the city’s fiscal status include:

  1. Rancho Road Commercial Center —NEC (Northeast Corner) Rancho and HWY 395; Multi-Tenant Retail Center with gas station, convenience store, car wash, supermarket, hotel, restaurants, office and retail facilities all totaling 199,050 square feet of floor area on 17.98 acres.
  2. LCS Holdings, LLC—NEC of Violet Road and Emerald Road; The construction and operation of a 3,200 bed prison on 125 acres.
  3. St. Mary’s Properties—SWC (Southwest Corner) of HWY 395 & Cactus Road;16 Pump gas station, 3,500 SF restaurant, 7,400 SF retail building, 2,500 SF fast food, 5,000 SF convenient store and car wash, and an 18,191 SF medical office building on 4 acres.
  4. Lewis Retail Centers—SWC of Highway 395 and Mojave Drive: Development of a 35.35-acre retail shopping center to includeTarget, large retailers, restaurants, and a bank on 35 acres.
  5. BergerABAM for GEO Group—NEC Koala and Holly: The construction and op­eration of a 247,425 sq. ft, 1,050 bed cor­rectional facility on 22.16 acres.
  6. Clark Pacific, Inc—Holly Road between Beaver Road and Koala Road-precast con­crete fabrication plant on 80 acres.

Infrastructure Improvements will En­hance Commercial Corridor

U.S. Highway 395, a major arterial for com­merce throughout California, bisects the city and will undergo a major expansion between Palmdale Road and Chamberlaine Way starting in 2017 that will expand to four or five lanes to enhance the commercial and retail corridor of the city.

State Highway 18, which connects Adelanto to Los Angeles County and ultimately, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, will be widened into a divided highway from Highway 395 to the Los Angeles County line. Construction will also include a four foot media, shoulders widened to eight feet ,and the addition of new centerlines and rumble strips.

The much anticipated E-220, known as the High Desert Corridor, will be a six-lane freeway and High Speed Rail connecting Palmdale and the Victor Valley. It is cur­rently under environmental review and will have a dramatic impact on Adelanto once completed.

Housing growth, though not substantial, has continued to climb the last five years, increasing from 9,261 new units in 2014 to 9,342 in 2015, a 23% increase with suffi­cient units for start-up, established, or retire­ment families. Along with the slight hous­ing growth, population has increased as well from 32,476 in 2014 to 33,084 in 2015, a 1.8% jump where residents have discovered and come to appreciate the clear skies, open spaces and family-friendly environment.

Adelanto and its City Council will continue to live up to its obligation to be good stew­ards of taxpayer dollars AND ensure that the city remains solvent to serve its residents and businesses. No one believes the chal­lenge will be easy, but judging by the results of the past few years, it should be easy to conclude that Adelanto is one resilient city!

City Updates General

Town of Apple Valley City Update-Spring 2016

Published by:

Town of Apple Valley

By Orlando Acevedo

Economic Development Manager

The County Board of Supervisors re­cently approved a 249-acre project to be rezoned from agricultural to residential within the town’s sphere of influence. The Lewis Operat­ing Company’s Deep Creek Project extends from Deep Creek Road to Mockingbird Road and is divided by Ocotillo Way.

This project will require improve­ments along these three roadways, as well as Rock Springs Road, to help mitigate traffic and the risk of wash­out. Construction for Rock Springs Road improvements is set to begin in 2018.

The long awaited Yucca Loma Bridge nearing completion

The long awaited Yucca Loma Bridge nearing completion

The Yucca Loma Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of April 2016; however, there is one more step prior to opening it to traffic. The Council recently awarded a contract for major improvements to Yucca Loma Road, including widening, bike lanes and major storm drain in­frastructure from Apple Valley Road to the bridge, as well as traffic signals at the Fire Station and Havasu Road. The bridge will open at the complecomple­tion of this phase, around September 2017. The bids came in at $8.6 mil­lion, nearly $4 million less than the original estimate, according Brad Miller, Town Engineer.

The $37-million-dollar Yucca Loma Bridge project alleviates conges­tion along east/west regional arte­rials, including Bear Valley Road, and allows residents to travel to and from Apple Valley, Victorville and Spring Valley Lake with more ease. This phase of the corridor will con­nect to Ridgecrest Road and includes bikeways and barrier-protected side­walks across the bridge. The proj­ect will also pave the way for The Fountains at Quail Ridge, a 346,500 square foot mixed-use commercial center at the north­east corner of Yucca Loma Road and Ap­ple Valley Road.

The Victor Valley Wastewater Rec­lamation Author­ity is constructing a sub-regional water reclamation plant at Brewster Park. More than 20 years in the making, this water reclamation plant will produce a mil­lion gallons a day of non-potable, recycled water that can be used to keep Apple Valley’s parks and golf course green. The plant is expected to be completed by mid-2017.

After a lengthy and competitive site selection process, Apple Valley suc­cessfully attracted a major indus­trial project, a 1.35 million square foot distribution center, to the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan. 32

In June 2015 the Town Council approved an Owner Participation Agreement to invest $1.2 million dollars into the construction of off-site regional street improvements. The distribution center will occupy 106 acres near Navajo Road and La Fayette Street, north of Apple Valley Airport. The $115 million project will bring 400 to 500 permanent jobs to the community and is expected to break ground this year, with another 300 construction jobs estimated during the 18-month build. This distri­bution center is expected to open in 2017.

The town is pleased to announce the Small Business Loan Program (SBLP), a business development tool designed to help eligible busi­nesses fund employee training and/or finance the purchase of new equipment or assets. The program is funded by federal grant dollars to help companies grow local jobs and increase production in targeted sectors, including manufacturing, assembly, and startups. The town will partner with AmPac Tri-State CDC to administer the program. For more information on the program, please contact Orlando Acevedo, Economic Development Manager, at 760.240.7915 or by email at select@applevalley.org.

City Updates General

Barstow City Update-Spring 2016

Published by:

California Barstow logo

By Gaither Loewenstein

Economic Development and Planning Manager

Although 2015 fell somewhat short of the city’s expectations in terms of economic growth in Barstow, the pace of activity has picked up markedly at the outset of 2016 as several projects that were anticipated to be initiated or completed last year have become untracked.

Commercial Development Outlook

The long-awaited Montara Place shopping center, anchored by a new Super WalMart store, broke ground late in 2015 and project completion is now expected to occur in 2017. Recruitment of retailers for the eight out pads has begun. The city’s inventory of existing available retail space continues to be absorbed, as Marshall’s joins Harbor Freight in the former K-mart space and smaller retail spaces continue to find lessees.

After improving dramatically for several quarters, the city’s hotel occupancy rate has leveled off in the high 80s, still sufficient to draw interest from several national hotel chains. Plans for a new Best Western Plus are in the final stages of review and Home2Suites, a Hilton product, is expected to submit building plans in late March.

In the same vicinity, taxable restaurant sales have fallen somewhat from their 2015 growth rate of 8.5% in large part due to lower fuel prices nationwide. The restaurant market in the Lenwood Road area remains robust, with a 4,500 square foot Asian Food Court currently under construction and expected to open in summer 2016, and two more nationally known restaurant brands coming to the area, in addition to regional powerhouse Oggi’s Pizza, which has slated a late-spring 2016 opening.

On Main Street, Choice Medical Group is in the final stages of its new 17,000 square foot medical office facility, Foster Freeze is currently undergoing an expansion, and several existing businesses have proposed plans for expansion and/or facelifts. The city is preparing a Specific Plan for the Downtown Business and Cultural District that will be completed in early summer. Implementation of elements of the Specific Plan will commence immediately and is expected to draw additional visitors to the area, sparking downtown revitalization.

Elsewhere, continuing progress is being made in acquiring lands within the Spanish Trail Specific Plan area (located at I-15 and L Street) from the State Lands Commission and the Bureau of Land Management. Acquisition is anticipated to be finalized in the first half of 2016, and once the site has been assembled under a common ownership recruitment of national retailers and lifestyle purveyors, it is expected to begin in earnest.

Industrial Development Outlook

The Barstow General Plan identifies a number of sites suitable for industrial development, several of which are likely to experience construction activity within the plan’s 2015-2020 time horizon. Although the proposed aluminum processing facility that was previously submitted for city review did not come to fruition, the city has continued to invest in infrastructure expansion, making the Barstow Industrial Park more readily suitable for development, and prospective tenants continue to express interest in this location. Grading is nearing completion on the 60-acre Crossroads Route 66 Indus­trial Park, located on West Main Street near the onramp to State Route 58. Once completed, this site will be a promising location for logistics enterprises and has already begun to draw interest from prospective tenants.

Residential Development Outlook

Housing development in Barstow has yet to recover from the Great Recession. Although a robust potential market for new home sales exists in the city, as evidenced by its 1.2:1 ratio of jobs-to-housing, the absence of comparable new home sales has proved an impediment to the financing of new home development. Recognition of the need to jump-start the housing market has prompted the City Council and local school district to collaborate on a strategy for short-term reductions in impact fees in an effort to spur residential development. Additionally, city planning staff has compiled an inventory of existing available infill property in proximity to local utilities and infrastructure. The city remains optimistic that these efforts will help bring the long moribund Barstow housing market to life in 2016.

Infrastructure Update

By the end of 2016 Barstow will be nearing completion of its ambitious capital improvement plans, resulting in reconstruction or resurfacing of the majority of local roadways, modernization of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, circulation network improvements in the vicinity of I-15 and Lenwood Road, and construction of the $ 31.7 million Len­wood Road Grade Separation Project. The $ 71 million reconstruction of the First Street Bridge is in the final planning stages with construction scheduled to be­gin in 2017.

Through its integrated efforts at long-range planning and infrastructure improvement, Barstow has positioned itself to capitalize on the next wave of economic growth as national, regional and local recovery from the Great Recession continues. Though arriving later than anticipated, the momentum has continued to slowly build in the early months of 2016.