City of Cathedral City
Address : 68700 Ave Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City, California 92234
PHONE : 760-770-0340
Look At Us Now
Words by June Allan Corrigan
Photographs by Greg Peterson
Things are happening in Cathedral City. Residents know it. Visitors are sitting up and taking notice too. Anything that is worthwhile and sustainable always takes time and effort, and this fair city has demonstrated the resilience, innovation, and persistence to get things done. A notable array of new projects and developments has come to fruition or will soon do so. If you haven’t already, it may be time to take another look at this enterprising community and all it has to offer.
An enterprising landscape
Signs of growth appear at the northernmost point of the city with the emergence of The Crossings at Bob Hope and Interstate 10. This freewayadjacent development on an annexed parcel of land will include a 98-room Best Western Plus Hotel, a McDonald’s, a Starbucks, a Taco Bell, and an Arco AM/ PM fueling station. Further south, a new Ace Hardware store — one of the largest in the country — opened with great fanfare in April 2018, filling a space left vacant by the now-defunct Fresh & Easy grocery chain. The City Council and the Economic Development Department have found it especially gratifying to turn the tide on vacant commercial properties. Two separate fitness facilities along Date Palm Drive have been helpful in this regard. In-Shape Fitness in Mission Plaza, at the corner of Gerald Ford, kicked things off and, more recently, Planet Fitness moved into an empty 20,000-square-foot space in the Cathedral City Marketplace at the corner of Dinah Shore. Other unoccupied locations around town that were bereft of tenants have also seen new restaurants and retailers bring them back to life.
The housing industry is making a comeback after a stagnant period, and The District at the Edge — a new gated community of 47 single-family homes straddling Palm Springs and Cathedral City — serves as a fine example. Phase one of this award-winning collection of homes that seamlessly melds midcentury and contemporary elements has sold out, and a second phase underway. Meanwhile, a developer is pursuing plans to build an additional 214 homes inside the gated Rio Del Sol community that were part of the original blueprint submitted more than 20 years ago.
The importance of public infrastructure cannot be underestimated, and Cathedral City has made substantial repairs to its roads and bridges over the past three years. In fact, it has invested more than $100 million in improvement projects throughout the city, reconstructing and resurfacing dilapidated streets and roadways. Other projects that are either upcoming or already underway include upgrades to the bridges along Date Palm Drive and Ramon Road and the commencement of a long-awaited bridge over Cathedral Canyon Drive at the wash. New directory and entry signs have also been installed at key points around the city.
An enterprising business domain
Driving down Ramon Road, one cannot help but notice the monolithic structure being erected on the south side between Date Palm and Da Vall drives. It represents the first of a two-phase cannabis cultivation center and dispensary being built by Sunniva Inc., a North American provider of medical cannabis products and services. The almost 500,000-square-foot hightech facility will utilize Dutch architectural greenhouse engineering to provide an environmentally efficient and pesticide-free environment to cultivate medical-grade cannabis. The endeavor promises to produce as many as 125 good-paying jobs, and because Sunniva Inc. is participating in a Cathedral City– sponsored Local Hire program, the hope is that most of the positions will go to city residents. It is the same recruitment process that Ace Hardware followed last spring and has pledged to continually support.
Cathedral City is proud to be part of the emerging cannabis industry. Resulting tax revenue has already allowed the city to add more public safety personnel, which in turn has contributed to a significant decrease in crime. “Good-paying jobs and solid tax revenue for parks, public safety, and improvements to public infrastructure make the emerging cannabis industry — when it is well-regulated and carefully monitored — a catalyst for the city’s future growth,” says Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis.
An enterprising arts and entertainment scene
The vision of a vibrant downtown arts and entertainment scene is steadily coming into focus. The city’s municipal plaza corridor serves as a nucleus for many of the exciting components. On the east side of the plaza sits the Mary Pickford Theatre. An interior and exterior revitalization project has resulted in the installation of captain’s chairs and active-motion seating throughout the movie house. A new parking facility on the south side of the building complete with a valet option makes theater access easier than ever. However, the addition of solar panels might be the most exciting addition of all — not only solar panels but a battery backup as well, giving the Mary Pickford Theatre the distinction of being the first 100 percent sustainable theater in the entire country.
On the west side of the municipal plaza, the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre (CVRep) is appreciative of its new home in a community that embraces diversity and the arts. The only playhouse in the valley to hold Small Professional Theatre status with Actors’ Equity, the company is renovating the former IMAX Theatre in a three-phase process employing local contractors. Completion is expected in time for a March 2019 performance. CVRep will not only bring live professional theater to the community but also new people, businesses, and revenue.
Anyone who has attended one of several annual festivals organized by the city — be it the Hot Air Balloon Festival, Taste of Jalisco, LGBT Days, Snow Fest, or the new and well-received Tejano Music Festival — knows the Festival Lawn in front of City Hall. The growing popularity of these events has paved the way for the addition of a 2.5-acre park complete with its own outdoor amphitheater. Situated around the corner, next to the downtown parking structure, the almost $4 million park with estimated seating capacity of about 3,000 is well on its way to a summer 2019 opening.
Slightly further east along East Palm Canyon Drive, at the corner of Date Palm Drive, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is immersed in plans to transform 13 acres into a downtown gaming facility. Preliminary intent includes building a 65,000-square-foot casino with 500 slot machines, restaurants, bars, retail, and mixed-use space. This development will breathe new life into an area of downtown that has been dormant for over a decade.
Enterprising Cathedral City is hitting its stride. So much is happening, and there’s more to come. Take a look at us now and keep us well in sight!
Stanley E. Henry
MAYOR PRO TEM:
Gregory S. Pettis
Mark Carnevale, Shelley Kaplan, John Aguilar
Total Population: 54,319
Median Age: 37
Average Household Income: $72,921
High School Diploma: 25%
Bachelor’s Degree: 12%
Graduate, Professional Degree: 12%
Arts, Entertainment, Recreation: 18%
Healthcare, Social Assistance: 13%
Retail Trade: 13%
Admin, Support, Waste Management Services: 12%
Accommodation, Food Services: 6%
Educational Services: 5%
Finance, Insurance: 2%
Real Estate, Rental, Leasing: 3%
Professional, Scientivic, Tech Services: 3%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting: 0.3%