Site cleared for downtown office building

Site preparation has begun and construction is expected to start next month on Regency Tower in downtown Riverside, the city’s largest downtown office project since the completion of Riverside Metro Center in 1990.

2007 – Project site (Google)

Situated at the corner of Tenth and Orange streets, Regency Tower will replace the recently demolished Riverside County Municipal Court building, a 1950s-era low-rise. Plans call for a ground floor coffee shop as well as a 3-level, underground parking structure accommodating 330 vehicles. Also planned is a second, smaller building — possibly including a restaurant — connected via a landscaped courtyard.

The 10-story, 250,000 square foot office building is part of the city and county’s efforts at redeveloping portions of downtown and will be the tallest structure built downtown since the 12-story Marriott (Sheraton) opened in 1987. The most striking architectural feature will be a dome situated atop the building at the corner of Tenth and Orange streets, which adds a distinctive feature over the typical flat-roofed office buildings currently populating downtown.

2007 – Regency Tower

We’re glad to see the coffee shop and other similar commercial uses planned within the mix, which will help spur more and varied interaction at the street level. Likewise, we’re also glad to see underground parking as opposed to a separate, above-ground parking garage, or worse — an asphalt lot.

Regency Tower comes on the heels of the recently completed, 5-story office building for The Press-Enterprise newspaper. A second 5-story office project proposed for Olivewood Avenue near Fourteenth Street is in the early planning stages. Together, the three projects signal the end of a 15-plus year drought for larger, steel-framed downtown office buildings. Hopefully, the recent activity will spur other developers downtown as opposed to simply planting down more low-rises on the city’s suburban fringe.

Sources: The Press-Enterprise

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