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:
- ROPS 15-16A approval letter dated March 23, 2015 by CA DOF
- ROPS 14-15B approval letter dated October 24, 2014 by CA DOF
- ROPS 14-15B Adopted September 9, 2014 for January Through June 2015
- ROPS 13-14B Adopted September 24, 2013 for January through June 2014
- EOPS adopted August 25, 2011 for August through December 2011
- EOPS adopted January 24, 2012 for January through June 2012
- DROPS adopted February 16, 2012 for January through June 2012
- ROPS I adopted April 10, 2012 for January through June 2012
- ROPS II adopted April 24, 2012 for July through December 2012
- ROPS III adopted August 21, 2012 for January through June 2013
- ROPS III approval letter dated October 3, 2012 from CA DOF
- ROPS 13-14A adopted February 26, 2013 for July through December 2013
- ROPS 13-14A approval letter dated April 13, 2013 from CA DOF
- ROPS 13-14B approval letter dated November 7, 2013 from CA DOF
- ROPS 14-15A adopted February 25, 2014 for July through December 2014
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.