City of Indio
Words by Trudie Mitschang
Photographs courtesy City of Indio
As the Coachella Valley’s largest and oldest enclave, Indio is a city in transition. With innovative new retail and residential opportunities in abundance, Indio increasingly enjoys a reputation informed by much more than date farms and music festivals.
From new housing options and inspired dining venues to office complexes and entertainment hot spots, Indio’s been busier than ever in recent months. A quick drive through the city reveals a number of highlights, including crowd-pleasing hubs like Dave’s Hot Chicken and Dutch Bros. Coffee, plus future retail establishments like Fiesta Kia, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, and America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses.
CELEBRATING INDIO’S NEW ATTITUDE
Indio’s renovation is generating excitement among residents and tourists, and for good reason. As a community that has long been a center for cultural exchange in the Valley, Indio looks forward to contributing a vibrant new energy to the Coachella Valley as it carves out its own unique personality. Up-and-coming businesses are generating buzz, including Everbloom coffee, where you can enjoy delicious cold brew and specialty drinks infused with house-made flavored syrups, and the Indio Food Park and Beer Garden in the historic Downtown, where locals love sampling the wares and food finds from a variety of vendors and eateries. The Indio Food Park recently expanded to 7 days a week and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. This innovative business model also offers a micro business mentorship program for people wanting to start their own business, but unsure where to begin.
“It’s exciting to figure out how to create an environment that appeals to a broad range of people, cultures and personalities — I think our success relies on our ability to do just that,” says Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes. She notes that additional projects currently in the inception phase include the proposal of a stunning outdoor entertainment complex at Jackalope Ranch.
Big plans are underway at the Indio Marketplace, formerly known as the Indio Fashion Mall.
With a $40 million renovation project already underway, (led by Los Angelesbased retail developer Haagen Company) the 215,000-square-foot enclosed mall is poised to transform into a vibrant retail, entertainment and dining destination sure to enamor both locals and tourists alike. When completed, the renovation will house more than 40 retail establishments to meet the needs of this growing community.
“Our goal is to create a destination for the families and adults in Indio and the Coachella Valley where they can meet and enjoy some leisure time in a relaxed and welcoming environment,” said Christopher Fahey, Haagen Company President and COO. “We will be adding seating areas, color and more natural light to the interior of the mall, as well as a new bright and vibrant exterior look.”
If you are looking for a quick bite between shopping and other activities, the Marketplace Food Hall promises over a dozen restaurants to satisfy any craving. Grab a seat at beneath the abundant palm groves, while the kids enjoy the refreshing splash zone nearby. Additional features for outdoor entertainment ensure something for everyone. “We envision the mall becoming the center of the community with monthly activities like Malloween, Santa’s Village, and the Easter Bunny Experience, as well as weekend musical entertainment,” adds Fahey. “There will be nothing like the Indio Marketplace in the Coachella Valley.”
Indio Marketplace and its retailers will remain open for business during construction. The Grand Reopening is expected to take place in late 2022.
CANOPY AT CITRUS:
A REFRESHING ADDITION TO INDIO’S GATEWAY
Anticipation is high and construction is well underway at the CANOPY at citrus, a mixed-use shopping and dining plaza, interconnected to the existing Citrus Plaza at Jefferson and Avenue 50 in the City of Indio. Citrus Plaza has long enjoyed full occupancy, and owner Bob Lichter made the decision to embark on the addition of CANOPY at citrus as a response to demand for more restaurants with plentiful outdoor dining, ample parking, and an inviting atmosphere.
“Citrus Plaza has always been a haven of shopping and dining in the area, and we are thrilled to expand and embrace the future with CANOPY,” Bob Lichter shared. “Working closely with the city and our neighbors over the last three years, we created a village truly geared towards satisfying our N customers’ desire for outdoor experiences and alfresco dining, and we look forward to bringing a new dynamic mix of tenants to the communities of Indio and La Quinta.”
CANOPY at citrus will feature expansive outdoor patios, water features, mature tree canopies, and paths throughout to link it to the adjacent shopping center. 30,000 square feet of dining and retail space has just commenced leasing and occupancy should be ready in early 2022. A plethora of Medjool date palms lining the Promenade and throughout the center will come together as an illuminated tree canopy in the evening, and pedestrianfriendly pathways will draw travelers and locals alike to this convenient dynamic location. With modern architecture and design by McGee Sharon Architects, the center’s desert-inspired buildings will be crafted with materials utilizing stucco, stone and composite wood paneling in a warm, inviting color palette. CANOPY will also feature bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging, a much-requested RALPH’s fuel station, plus a combination of drive-through and sit-down eateries.
In addition to this lifestyle village, Indio’s Planning Commission has also approved the design for CANOPY II. This last phase may include eight 2-story buildings with 62 apartment units. A modern residential concept for desert living, the project would incorporate luxury amenities on site such as fully enclosed garages, pool area, sports court, outdoor event area, and recreation center.
FROM DREAM TO REALITY
What began as a small railroad town is now a thriving Coachella Valley hub approaching a population of 100,000. With the City’s 2040 20-year general plan and its new Downtown Specific Plan, Indio officials will continue to guide the City towards a rich cultural future replete with arts, entertainment, education, commerce, and quality of life.
“It feels like we have a head start with the Marketplace renovations and then down at the South end with CANOPY. But there are still sections of our city that can welcome and embrace quality eateries, various types of retail, and music venues, where people can enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, listen to some jazz, attend a poetry reading, or gather with friends in a beer garden,” says Mayor Holmes. “To the extent we can achieve this for all of our residents is the measure of our success — that’s my dream for Indio.”
- ANNUAL VISITORS: 1.4M
- AVERAGE DISPOSABLE INCOME: $55,460
- MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $429,016
- NEW HOUSING UNITS IN DEVELOPMENT: 3,660
- ACCOLADES Largest and fastest growing city in the Coachella Valley
- HOME TO Riverside County’s only law school (The California Desert Trial Academy College of Law)
- HOME OF Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Stagecoach County Music Festival
- NAMED In the top 500 fastest growing economies in the U.S. by WalletHub.com
SOURCE: Indio Development Activity Report 2021
MAYOR: Elaine Holmes
MAYOR PRO TEM: Waymond Fermon
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Oscar Ortiz, Lupe Ramos Amith, Glenn Miller
YEAR INCORPORATED: 1930
Total Population: 91,105
Median Age: 35.6
Annual Growth Rate: 1.33%
Average Household Income: $75,668
Median Household Income: $54,724
(Ages 25 and Older)
High School Diploma: 36.87%
Bachelor’s Degree: 10.35%
Graduate/Professional Degree: 5.36%
Healthcare/Social Assistance: 8.70%
Retail Trade: 13.28%
Education Services: 4.92%
Admin/Support/Waste Management Services: 9.94%
Accommodations/Food Service: 8.99%
Real Estate/Rental/Leasing: 1%
The Retail Coach; Esri/Coachella Valley Economic Partnership