Palm Desert

Looking to the Future

Gayl Biondi

City of Palm Desert, California
73510 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert Civic Center
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Phone 760-346-0611

Palm Desert started building its solid civic foundation nearly four decades ago and hasn’t looked back since. The city has a wide appeal for everyone from vacationers looking to soak up the sun and take in the sights to families and retirees looking for a stable community where they can enjoy a full and well-rounded life.

Something for Every Taste

Commerce fuels public services, and both Palm Desert residents and visitors have benefited from its largess. Feeding the pipeline is a wide variety of distinct shopping destinations ranging from brand-name big box retailers to high-end designer boutiques — and a generous array of merchants in between. Palm Desert is also home to the Coachella Valley’s only regional mall: Westfield Palm Desert.

El Paseo continues to be the go-to spot for upscale fashion, personal services, and dining. The popular Gardens on El Paseo is welcoming new stores Eileen Fisher, Louis Vuitton, and an expanded Sunglass Hut rebranded as Ilori. Nearby, construction is underway for a September 2010 opening of El Paseo Village, a 40,000-square-foot, single-level complex with surface parking.

The Village is already 90 percent leased, with tenants including Mastro’s Steakhouse, bebe, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans, Kate Spade, Janie and Jack, and ROC Republic of Couture. General Manager Bob Fliday states, “El Paseo Village complements The Gardens beautifully and will be an additional asset to the street.”

On the Green

Desert Willow, Palm Desert’s lush yet water-efficient public golf course, has come into its own with steady support from valley residents and vacationing golf enthusiasts. Starwood Vacation Ownership has set a January 2010 grand opening for its Westin Desert Willow Villas. A 40,000-square-foot clubhouse is the centerpiece of the property, where 300 units will ultimately be built.

Speaking of green, Palm Desert is continuing its efforts to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent over five years in a partnership with Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Co., and The Energy Coalition. “Palm Desert was the first city in California to institute an energy-efficiency loan program that The Wall Street Journal called the most aggressive in the nation” says Councilman Jim Ferguson.

The Energy Independence Program is in full swing, assisting commercial and residential customers with loans of up to $100,000. Loans are available for a term of up to 20 years to finance upgrades for air conditioning, solar, variable-speed swimming pool pumps, awnings, window tinting, and energy-efficient windows.

More than 200 applicants have already taken advantage of the loan program. Residents and property owners can learn more about the incentives available by calling the Palm Desert Office of Energy Management at (760) 837-0287 or visiting

Safe and Smart

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department expects to open an 85,000-square-foot Palm Desert Sheriff Station in May 2010 as the County of Riverside’s first LEED-certified sheriff station. The complex on Gerald Ford Drive between Monterey and Portola avenues includes investigation units, burglary units, and Drug Abuse Resistance Education units.

The facility will accommodate an evidence warehouse, heliport, fueling station, and bike impound facility. There will also be space dedicated to processing and accounting functions for the cities of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, and the unincorporated areas of the Coachella Valley.

At College of the Desert, bond funds are driving extensive new construction and renovation projects on the venerable community college campus that predates the city’s incorporation. Updated infrastructure will assist the institution in continuing to deliver job-generating certificates in subjects including law enforcement, agribusiness, hospitality management, alternative fuels automotive, culinary arts, early childhood education, and emergency medical technician training.

The Cook Street entrance to Palm Desert from Interstate 10 is shaping up as an active University Park destination with a mix of housing, hospitality, and higher education. A dual-school university campus houses California State University, San Bernardino, Coachella Valley Campus and the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Graduate Center on land donated by the city.

The $4.5 million Palm Desert Health Science Building on the Cal State campus graduates its first class of 90 bachelor of science in nursing students in June 2010. Training is provided in a state-of-the-art lab using patient simulators to allow students to diagnose a variety of real-life medical conditions. Dr. Fred Jandt, dean of Cal State’s Palm Desert campus states, “The City of Palm Desert continues to be a major supporter of the campus. Their timely donation to the building’s construction made this project possible.”

Landscaping along the view corridor on Cook Street and Frank Sinatra Drive is putting the final touches on the campus profile. The city is also planning to extend the interior campus ring road to Frank Sinatra Drive to provide improved access.

A new Homewood Suites hotel with 128 suites is perfectly poised within view of the campus and next to a convenient retail center with a variety of dining spots and services.

The hotel is an ideal spot for business travelers with its onsite meeting rooms, business center services, and freeway-close location. The suite-style rooms are a value for vacationers with full kitchenettes, a daily hot breakfast buffet, fitness center, pool and spa, and laundry facilities. The staff will even buy groceries to stock private pantries.

A Community in Balance

Palm Desert is not only an exemplary city, but also a thriving community full of opportunity. Its stable year-round population, ample education, recreation opportunities, and a healthy balance sheet give this community at the center of the Coachella Valley the poise to continue achieving great things well into the future. To learn more about business opportunities, contact the Palm Desert Economic Development Division at (760) 346-0611 or visit

Mayor Robert A. Spiegel

Robert A. Spiegel

Mayor Pro Tem
Cindy Finerty

Council Members
Jean M. Benson
Jim Ferguson
Richard S. Kelly

Year Incorporated


Median Household Income
$87, 546

Palm Desert Development Chart