Sunday, January 20, 2008

Housing Crash Delays Rialto Project (San Bernardino Sun Jan 19, 2008) Who Knows when they will consider to Re-up the case and start the devlopement again. Maybe in two years when the bubble forms again.

BS Ranch Perspective

I know that the City of Rialto wants to get all the money that they can for the property that they have created through the seeming use of loop holes, to close the Rialto Airport. A Closure that was Brokered over a Breakfast Meeting in a Cocoa's Restaurant in Whittier, with a House Representative that just happens to have a Development Company, that got the job to develop the acreage as soon as the City Council, and City Planning decides that the time is Ripe to get the best price for the property that is there in Rialto.

It is the belief of this writer that the City has made their bed!! They should be able to lie in the bed, No matter what the market. So they should get on with the payment of $25 to $28 million to the City of San Bernardino for the moving of the Current Businesses that are at Miro Air Field or Rialto Airport.

Rialto City Council & Rialto City Planning has made their bed, lets see if they are going to lay in it at least a little, I doubt that the airport will close for at least the next five years.

BS Ranch

Housing crash delays Rialto project
Jason Pesick, Staff Writer

RIALTO - Though plans for the city's premier development are moving forward, they have fallen about a year behind schedule.

While the city still has to finish negotiations with Caltrans as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, the main reason for Renaissance Rialto's delay is the housing-market slowdown.

Last year, the project's developers - a team consisting of the Lewis Group and Ross Perot Jr.'s Texas-based Hillwood - redrew the project to cut half the housing.

"Even though we looked like we were on a fast track, I think the mud's gotten deeper," said Councilwoman Winnie Hanson, who thinks the alterations could make for a better project.

Renaissance Rialto, on 1,500 acres next to the 210 Freeway, will be developed into houses, retail and industrial space.

The heart of the retail center - which will be anchored by a SuperTarget - can't be built until the city closes Rialto Municipal Airport.

Officials originally planned to close the airport last year, but it looks like it won't happen until next year, said Rich Scanlan, airport director.

Four or five of about 200 tenants have left Rialto Municipal Airport, he said.

Rialto will eventually relocate many of the airport's tenants to San Bernardino International Airport.

By the fall, the Rialto City Council could approve plans for the Renaissance Rialto project and an environmental impact report, said Greg Lantz, the city's economic development


City staff will spend the next month reviewing and refining a draft plan for the project, he said.

The city and developers can then begin relocating tenants. Once they are relocated, construction can begin.

Stores could start opening in 2010, but not in time to meet the original goal of the 2009 winter holidays.

City officials would like to start developing the area to the west around Alder Avenue and the 210 Freeway even sooner. The area is far enough away from Rialto Municipal Airport that construction can begin before it is closed, Lantz said.

Though Congress passed legislation in 2005 allowing Rialto to close the airport, the FAA still hasn't given the OK to shut things down.

Before the airport can be closed, the FAA has to agree to a closure plan that it is reviewing, said Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman.

He said the plan has to agree with Rialto and the San Bernardino International Airport Authority regarding airport land values.

An escrow account also needs to be established so revenue from the sale of the airport property can be transferred to the Small Business Insurance Agency for improvements.

In the next three to four months, Lantz said, Rialto also hopes to settle some land-rights issues with Caltrans.

Most notably, Rialto needs to get control of Easton Street from the state, so the city can move Easton a few hundred feet to the south to make room for the Target-anchored center.

If the city can this year get a sewer line built around Alder, Lantz said, development on that end of the project can quickly begin.

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