Mixed-use projects picking up steam

Activity has picked up recently at 2 of 3 mixed-use projects under development in downtown Riverside, which will be the first combined residential/commercial projects within the city in several decades.

2007 - Raincross Promenade
2007 – Raincross Promenade

At Raincross Promenade, bounded by First, Third, Main and Market streets, site clearing is well under way. Situated near the city’s convention center at Raincross Square, the site had been home to assorted auto repair shops, used car lots (one, two), an aging “rental” motel as well as a few dilapidated homes and a couple of empty parcels.

Planned by Los Angeles-based developer Mark Rubin, whom has developed various projects in Riverside, Raincross Promenade will add upwards of 250 urban-style residential units on 2-blocks that will essentially anchor the north end of the Main Street pedestrian mall. Although we have yet to see precise plans, our hope is the development is such that it “draws in” the existing pedestrian mall, which currently fizzles out at the convention center.

2007 - m sole'
2007 – m sole’

Directly across Market Street, where developer Alan Mruvka is planning a similar mixed-use project, foundation work has begun on 10 live/work units as part of the first phase of m sole’. Mruvka plans upwards of 125 urban-style residential units in later phases, stretching along Market Street from Third to First streets (essentially mirroring Raincross Promenade).

Thus far, m sole’ is the only one of the three to begin actual construction, let alone offer pre-sales (an information studio is currently housed within the historic Sante Fe depot located near Mission Inn Avenue and Vine Street).

2007 - Fox Plaza
2007 – Fox Plaza

Yet to break ground is the third mixed-use development planned for downtown — Fox Plaza located at Mission Inn and Market. Included in the multi-phase plans are upwards of 500 urban-style residential units, 65,000 square feet of retail, and a 130-room, full-service hotel. Currently, the site is occupied by the Stalder Building and various parking lots.

Situated near the heart of the pedestrian mall adjacent to restaurants, shops, museums and downtown offices — not to mention some of the city’s best historic architecture — Fox Plaza will offer one of the few truly urban experiences within Inland Southern California. The one downside will be the loss of the historic Stalder, which once housed the city’s first fire station.

All three projects are within a few blocks of one another, which we feel will help strengthen the city’s re-emerging urban core. Moreover, we’re glad to see alternative options being added to the area’s predominantly single-family residential landscape. And we feel no place is better for such options than within a genuinely historic downtown setting, one which needn’t be “manufactured” nor “created” — as is the case with similar mixed-use developments around Southern California.



Sources: The Press-Enterprise, m sole’, MetroPacific, City of Riverside

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  1. These projects will be catalytic to Downtown Riverside being the kind of place it should be. Despite it’s dense framework, right now downtown is anything but vibrant and urban. Hopefully, by the close of the decade, we will see more high-intensity projects like these, and Regency Tower, adding to what Downtown Riverside has to offer.

  2. Indeed, these mixed-use projects will usher in a new era for downtown Riverside. Our hope is the change strengthens the reemerging cultural amenities and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere while maintaining (and enhancing) the business-oriented core.

    At the very least, these and other similar projects will open a number of eyes that previously viewed single-family housing as the only available — or desirable — option.

  3. i think riverside should have more night clubs and amusement parks like six flags also bring in some sports team the like the los angeles lakers and los angeles clippers like the ie something or rathers also have a baseball team, football team, soccer team, hockey team, and various other sports such as more tennis courts and more golf courses. I think riverside should have more unique businesses should as new ice creams shops and like different retail stores that attract both business people alike and young adults. I would like the Inland Empire to be like Melrose,Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, San Diego’sgas lamp, Burbank, Glendale, Ventura, Northridge,Chatsworth, Vegas with enormous building like LA. and more larger unique homes with 10 bedrooms with unique styles from spain, china, italy and france. It would be nice if the IE (Inland Empire)can attract entertainment industries like universal studios, paramount pictures, wb, and stars that think that Hollywood is the only place to be! They should have an inland empire sign in top of the highest mountain. and like have more new innovative styles of tv hosting and new revenues of city life style like they have in city walk in Universal. I think Riverside and all the neighboring cities will becomes a city to visit, rest and play. Many activities also too will be at good works. Plays and acts of the new theatre will bring prestigious actors and actresses to the industry. More bill boards should be set up around the IE. Movies should be more available as the west is becoming more westernized. Riverside should be a city where its on the map knowing if your somewhere far in a place around the world they’ll now where your talking about. More stretched out hummers and limos should be cruising my main and market, and surrounding areas. I dont downplay the neighboring communites but this should of been thought about a long time ago. As businesses are booming so is the companies and large companies like huge buildings to market around the world. As international businesses are growing people want to see chains of international businesses growing in the Inland Empire

  4. Wow Pierre, it’s like you had this built up in your mind and you finally got the chance to let it all out 😉 .

    Pierre I agree with you on most of what you mentioned, in fact, the city seems to have an aim in the direction of much of this. In terms of sports teams, I thought I’d let you know that there’s been talk about bringing an NFL football team to Riverside to represent this whole metropolitan area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties). You can find a few articles on it if you Google “Riverside NFL”. I wouldn’t count on other sports any time soon, because L.A. and Orange County’s baseball, basketball, and hockey teams are in close enough proximity to Riverside, and MLSoccer isn’t big enough yet for another team to be brought in so close.

    It would be cool to have a bigger theme park… I don’t know how much Castle Park could expand, but I do think they could make much better use of the land area they have and get some bigger rides/attractions in.

    As for nightclubs, they are coming. Don’t need to worry about that.

    More unique businesses will also come with time, and probably sooner than you think they way the city and general area is expected to grow.

    You mentioned “Gas Lamp,” and that look and feel that Downtown San Diego has is exactly the direction the city of Riverside is hoping to take for Downtown Riverside. It was in the paper a while back. Also, the current Riverside Renaissance has numerous new buildings expected to go up, and many are to have the Spanish and Mission Revival style. I don’t know about Chinese, Italian, and French. I think Gedward could probably give you more on that better than I can.

    Now for something that is right up my ally, as much as I would like to see Riverside attract entertainment industries like Paramount and Universal, I think for a long time yet that will be wishful thinking. As it is, the industries like to say in close proximity to one another. Hardly anything big has even hit Orange County yet, and they are right next door! The major culprit for this is the horrible traffic conditions that make it hard for industries with distance between them to communicate. Even though the internet has created wonders for communication, studios still like that “in-person” contact. Very long story short, until CalTrans get their head out of their ass and creates better traffic and commuting solutions. The entertainment industry (at least) will grow very slowly out here for a while yet. However Riverside’s arts scene leaning more toward fine arts and performing arts could very well grow exponentially in the next few years, as well as possibly graphic design and illustration in the areas of communication and commercial industry.

    So it is more or less safe to say that the Inland Empire is definitely growing with larger industries, and will be getting more chains of international businesses, and that Riverside in particular (assuming everything goes as planned and expected) will be a place to visit and serve as a major, or even the major hotspot in the Inland Empire.

    P.S. I don’t know about making a big “Hollywood” style sign on the large hills, but there is the giant California “C” on the Box Springs Mountains (?). I was very jazzed when I saw recently that they now have lights on it so you can see it at night, although they seem to have had it off the past few weeks so that is a bummer. I hope they didn’t decide to take them down.

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