New stores and revitalizing makeovers of existing commercial properties represent a majority of projects, which when completed will provide Palm Desert residents and visitors with more lodging, shopping, and dining opportunities than ever before.
El Paseo Hotel is a new 154-room boutique hotel under development adjacent to its namesake. This elegant and modern four-star hotel will feature a pool, spa, ballroom, dining, valet parking, an underground parking garage, and 24-hour room service. Hotel visitors are just steps away from El Paseo, Palm Desert’s upscale shopping, dining, and art district that is also known as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert.”
The construction boom extends across the street, where The Gardens on El Paseo has installed new landscaped gardens and features that include shaded seating areas and walkways as well as cooling misters for a more pleasurable shopping experience at world-famous retailers including Brooks Brothers, Tommy Bahama’s, Anthropologie, Louis Vuitton, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Joining the aforementioned iconic brands at The Gardens and adjacent El Paseo Village are newcomers ECVI and Lorna Jane, women’s clothing stores that will open toward the end of 2014.
The resurgent local economy has encouraged multiple restaurants to open and expand into long-shuttered restaurant spaces. These new eateries offer a variety of dining experiences, including Il Corso, a hip, upscale Mediterranean restaurant featuring wood-fired pizzas and tapas, and Copper Oven, a cozy yet eclectic space featuring European artisan pizza that is owned and operated by a family that has been in the restaurant business for three generations. Joining these new establishments in Palm Desert is Mexican restaurant Pueblo Viejo, opening its third area location, and Manhattan of the Desert, celebrating the opening of its second Coachella Valley restaurant. On El Paseo, world-famous chef Wolfgang Puck also recently opened what is only the third Wolfgang Puck Pizza | Bar nationwide.
At Westfield Palm Desert, the Coachella Valley’s only regional mall, two anchor department store spaces are home to new tenants. The changes include a two-story space on the mall’s north side where the second floor has been filled by a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store, while the first floor is occupied by World Gym.
An enclosed department store space on the mall’s south side has been entirely reimagined to create a dramatic new mall entrance flanked on either side by new restaurants, including recently opened Bobby Mao’s Chinese Kitchen and Bar and Stuft Pizza, which celebrated its grand opening in July. In addition to the new restaurants, the mall recently welcomed new stores by national retailers H&M and DXL.
A block away, One Eleven Town Center has also undergone a transformation from largely vacant strip mall to the newly renovated home of the region’s first Whole Foods and Nordstrom’s Rack locations. A new Home Goods store is also part of this exciting development, along with additional specialty stores to be announced soon.
More new additions include the Coachella Valley’s first Walmart Neighborhood Market in the remodeled location formerly occupied by Toys “R” Us. Across Highway 111 stand the region’s first Total Wine & More and Guitar Center stores.
Palm Desert’s last vacant “big box” commercial space has been filled with the opening last year of a new PGA Tour Superstore. The 50,000-square-foot store is the company’s third California location.
The spike in development is not confined to retail and restaurants. At College of the Desert, multiple construction projects are underway as other recently completed multimillion dollar buildings begin to serve students and faculty.
The news is also exciting at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus, where the college’s inaugural freshman class recently completed the first year of instruction, establishing the school’s status as the Coachella Valley’s first and only public four-year university.
The recent accreditation of the University of California, Riverside’s new medical school has paved the way for UCR’s presence in Palm Desert to expand. University officials have announced plans for a new ambulatory medical center on the school’s Palm Desert campus as well as continuing medical education and research facilities to complement the medical school. These developments will help fill the regional need for physicians and related medical professionals and will also help attract additional medical research and related businesses to Palm Desert, increasing employment and economic development.
Palm Desert weathered the national economic downturn while maintaining fiscal responsibility and preserving the uniquely wonderful quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors. The impressive growth in economic activity taking place in Palm Desert today places the community on course to continue its tradition of prosperity and innovation for years to come.
To learn more about business opportunities in Palm Desert, contact the City’s Economic Development Division at 760-346-0611 or visit www.cityofpalmdesert.org.
Van G. Tanner
Susan Marie Weber
Jean M. Benson, Jan Harnik, Robert Spiegel