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.
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.
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).
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.
- m sole’
- MetroPacific Properties LLC – Fox Plaza
- Riverside Press-Enterprise – An upscale vision for downtown (April 2007) | Riverside Press-Enterprise – Downtown Riverside looks for right mix of businesses to spur revival (June 2007)
Sources: The Press-Enterprise, m sole’, MetroPacific, City of Riverside