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The Redevelopment Process
Redevelopment has been one of the most complex, difficult, misunderstood, yet rewarding programs a community could undertake. The Rancho Mirage Redevelopment Agency, governed by Community Redevelopment Law, has had many tools at its disposal. Tax increments and bond financing allowed the Agency to generate funding for off-site improvements such as street improvements, sewer and water. The Agency also facilitates development by acquiring and consolidating unrelated parcels into larger, usable sites, and assisting developers with the acquisition of land. Since the inception of the City’s Economic Development Program in 1989, the Rancho Mirage Redevelopment Agency has committed significant funds toward the development of commercial office buildings and retail centers through reimbursement for off-site expenses, payment of development fees to the City, reimbursement to landowners for demolition of vacant/substandard buildings and payments to developers to offset the costs of making desired developments economically feasible.
As a result of the state of California’s passage of ABIX 26, all redevelopment agencies were dissolved statewide as of February 1, 2012. The required posting of obligation payment schedules are shown below:
Obligation Payment Schedules
History of Highway 111-Redevelopment
Rancho Mirage prides itself in being a prestigious community. Addressing conditions of blight within the City was a major objective of the Redevelopment Agency. A 1996 survey of Highway 111 properties revealed that 50% were underdeveloped and approximately 50% of what was developed was constructed prior to the time Rancho Mirage was incorporated, thereby not meeting current design standards. When contrasted against new development, old buildings did not match the desired community image. Interested developers could quickly observe the quality of construction the City required for new development proposals.
Since the 1996 survey, the City has taken part in a variety of activities to attract new businesses to the community and meet the needs of those currently here. This proactive approach to development has resulted in the revitalization of the Highway 111 corridor and surrounding areas. Understanding the need for proper infrastructure, the Redevelopment Agency invested $70 million in storm water management projects. The Agency also funded $25 million in roadway widening, traffic light synchronization, landscape beautification along Highway 111. The "stage" was been set for commercial development to flourish along the Highway 111 corridor.
A number of developments helped "jump-start" and sustain this revitalization effort. The most prominent being the 30-acres of waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment known as The River. A Country Inn & Suites and Hilton Garden Inn & Suites, located just west of The River, opened and a number of mixed use and office developments, such as the Plaza Agua Blanca, Patio's Plus and Lamps Plus were completed and/or expanded. The "Restaurant Row" has been a huge success with the opening of such restaurants as Mimi's Cafe, Roy's of Hawaii, Amici's, Hibachi's Japanese Steakhouse and the many great establishments located at The River. The demand for quality office space was also addressed by a number of mixed-use developments.
Not only new development spawned the revitalization of commercial activity in Rancho Mirage. Redevelopment of existing businesses also played a key role. Desert European Motorcars, Rancho Mirage's only automobile dealership, completed a $15 million redevelopment/expansion in 2003. The $3 million renovation of what is now the Northern Trust Bank and $1 million upgrade of the accompanying mixed-use plaza increased activity in the Northern Trust Plaza located at Highway 111 and Frank Sinatra Drive. Rancho Mirage Plaza (NE corner of Highway 111 and Indian Trail) also completed façade, signage, hardscape/landscape improvements to keep up with newer surrounding development.
Future Economic Development Activities
Opportunities still abound for the redevelopment of commercial properties in prime locations. To promote the development of encouraged land uses and selected business activities consistent with the Economic Development Plan, the City will consider partnering with developers to cover the cost of installing public improvements for the following developments:
Assessment District Bonds
The City will work with developers to form assessment districts where property is assessed in accordance with the proportionate benefit derived from the improvements being financed. Public improvements benefiting private projects such as streets, utilities, sewer and water lines may be financed by low interest, tax-exempt assessment district bonds.
Community Facilities District (MELLO-ROOS DISTRICT)
Districts can be formed under the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 for the purpose of financing off-site capital construction projects. The program is very effective in areas needing facilities too large for one developer to undertake. Using this method, a special tax is levied to pay debt service on bond financing for the new capital improvements.
Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce
In the business of providing service, networking and information, the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce makes the connections to help people do business through public relations, planning and executing events, and creating and disseminating publications and information for residents and destination management entities alike. If you would like additional information regarding the City of Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce and any of its activities, please contact Stuart Ackley at (760) 568-9351. Being the first chamber in the Coachella Valley to remain open on Saturdays, you're guaranteed to receive assistance in a timely manner.
Rancho Mirage Restaurant Association
The Rancho Mirage Restaurant Association was created in 1998 as a means for restaurants to coordinate marketing activities to benefit all local establishments. In a collaborative manner, the City of Rancho Mirage, the Chamber of Commerce and the Restaurant Association publish and maintain the Rancho Mirage Restaurant Guide. Rancho Mirage currently boasts 70 restaurants and specialty food establishments. Any restaurant located in the City of Rancho Mirage is eligible to join the association. Interested parties should contact Stuart Ackley at (760) 568-9351 for more information.
Small Business Administration Financing
A federal program created by Congress in 1953, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) exists to aid small businesses with financing, training and advocacy. SBA works with a number of lending institutions in order to provide entrepreneurs with funding by guaranteeing major portions of loans made to such businesses. To see whether or not your business would qualify for assistance, or for additional information, please visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov. Or contact one of the many local financial institutions to inquire about SBA 504 financing opportunities.
Job Training Partnership (JTPA)
Riverside County staff can assist employers in obtaining JTPA funds through the Private Industry Council (PIC). The PIC provides employers with a trained workforce of screened people. Supplements up to 50% of the employee's wages, tax incentives and customized training programs are available to employers.
For information on Economic Development, please call Sean Smith at (760) 324-4511 Ext. 299.