Thursday, August 09, 2007

Renaissance Rialto Project DELAYED ?? (SB Sun 07312007) Economy a factor in plan's slowdown

BS Ranch Perspective

I don't understand why the City Council, City Planning, and the City Administration of Rialto would want to wait on the biggest Commercial planning Event that they have wanted for the past (5) Five years!

Ever since they met in the Cocoa's Restaurant in Diamond Bar, with Rep. Gary Miller (Whittier) and the city Planning Director, and cooked up a plan to close the Rialto Airport, Via a, Pork Measure, Attached to the Largest Transportation Bill that has ever been sent to the Presidents Oval Office to be signed. President Bush Signed the Transportation Bill, Which Meant the Following:
  • The airport could close by a Vote of The City Council
  • The City Council would be Relieved from the money owed to Expand the Airport in the 1990's
  • As Payment for the "Pork Bill" Rep. Gary Miller's Development Company (Lewis Homes) Would get the contract to Develop the Airport-Instead of the Development job going to a bid
  • They would plan a Commercial Shopping area similar to that of Victoria Gardens, Called Rialto Renaissance @ the I-210
Now that all the paper work is done the airport needs to close, and the Real Estate Sales are in a Slump, by almost 50%, so they decide to take it at a snails Pace, Which means that they will not close the Airport when they had planned, Which was at the end of the Summer 2007, and move the Lease's To The San Bernardino International Airport, where they will be located from now on.

The Businesses that are tied to the Airport all will be moved at the City of Rialto's Expense and they're First Year's Lease will be also Paid by Rialto or the inconvenience of having to move.

Now I agree that the City should pay for all this, but I also think that they made a Schedule and they should live by it. the Freeway is open and the sooner that they develop Rialto, the sooner that they will not have to be paying for Rent at the San Bernardino International Airport!!

City of Rialto Get off the POT, WIPE and GET TO WORK!!

BS Ranch

Renaissance Rialto project delayed
Economy a factor in plan's slowdown
Jason Pesick, Staff Writer
San Bernardino County Sun
Article Launched:07/31/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT

Photo Gallery: Renaissance Rialto

RIALTO - Plans to turn Rialto Municipal Airport and the surrounding area into 1,500 acres of mixed-use development along the 210 Freeway are a little behind schedule, but construction could start sometime next year.

Only a few months ago, it looked as if the City Council would take up a land-use plan for the project, dubbed, later this year and that the airport could be closed this year as well.

But it looks as if the council won't get the proposal until next year, and it's not clear when the airport will close. Officials are even talking about breaking the project into two parts so the commercial zone along the 210 can get going as quickly as possible, said Robb Steel, the city's economic development director.

"I think they're probably re-evaluating some of the things that they had planned with the economy changing," Councilwoman Winnie Hanson said of the developers. She doesn't mind the developers taking their time, she said, if it helps get the project right.

The slowing housing market is a factor in the delay. Steel said the developers, a partnership between the Lewis Group of Companies and Texas-based Hillwood, are considering cutting the amount of housing to be included in the project - and that's why the council will be getting a plan later.

Some city officials also weren't thrilled after a May workshop that discussed the retail options considered for the project.

Until there's a workable plan for the project that the council is happy with, nothing can move forward, Steel said. The developers aren't going to want to pay an estimated $40 million required to relocate the tenants from the airport unless the project is moving forward, Steel said.

Two or three of the airport's 250 tenants have already left, but most probably won't start leaving until the spring, said airport Director Rich Scanlan. The entire process could take nine or 10 months, he said.

The retail zone can be built as long as the north-south runway is closed, meaning the east-west runway could remain open for a while if the project is split in two, Steel said.

The project's environmental impact report is also taking longer than hoped. At the City Council meeting on July 17, the council approved tweaking the EIR.

At the May workshop, consultants and representatives from the development team told council members and residents a Target store will anchor the retail center. It also will likely include an office-supplies store, an electronics store, like Best Buy, and some other large stores.

At the outset, the project won't be able to attract high-end restaurants or shopping, the presenters said. Until the area grows, and wealthier residents move in, the restaurants would probably include places like Applebee's and Red Robin.

Councilman Joe Baca Jr. said he would give the presentation a "C-" at best and that Lewis is going back to the drawing board. He said he's interested in creating a lake in the project and wants there to be community-oriented venues like a movie theater even if they don't generate a ton of sales-tax revenue.

Aside from thinking about reducing the number of homes, Lewis is making small changes to the project, Steel said.

"There is some retooling, but it's not radically different as far as the retail side goes," he said. He agreed the presentation about the types of tenants the area could attract did worry some of the council members, but he said he thought the presentation was also optimistic because the presenters pointed out that as the area grows, it will be able to attract higher-end tenants. Those could include The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen or Claim Jumper, according to a report by Greg Stoffel, a retail consultant on the project.

Some of the properties near the main retail area could host entertainment venues like a movie theater, Steel said.

Hanson said developing the area will take time.

"I do know that luring a higher quality store is not easy, but I think they will come."

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