Results tagged “ontario” from Raincross Square

After decades of nearly unfettered sprawl, the time has come to seriously begin changing the basic developmental patterns of Inland Southern California.

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2006
Corona Pointe
Corona

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2006
Crossroads Corporate Center
Murrieta


Ontario

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Downtown Riverside
MetroPacific Properties, LLC

Gone should be the days of leap-frogging, low-density development. In its place, should come more balance, both in densities and in types. More mid- and high-rise development coupled with higher percentage of business and commercial projects (and less residential).

As previously mentioned (one | two), we're not suggesting New York City style mega-density, but pockets of moderate densities -- particularly in downtown Riverside and around Ontario Airport -- similar to those found within the downtowns of Pasadena, Glendale, Santa Monica and Long Beach.

If the recent recession has demonstrated any major weakness within Inland Southern California, it's the region's lack of commercial maturity and continued reliance upon warehousing and residential development as its primary form of economic growth. Not only has such dependence created an unbalanced (and unreliable) economic engine, it's left the region with an unbalanced (and wasteful) landscape, one dominated by sprawling development and ever-growing commutes.

Quite simply, area residents, builders and government officials alike must begin accepting -- and more importantly, insisting -- on better quality, higher density, more diverse development patterns focused more around jobs and less on housing tracts. Moreover, such future development needs to be coupled with -- and encourage -- alternative transportation, else this region will remain a land of nightmarish commutes.

However, amid the hardships of the current economic downturn lies a silver lining. Or better yet, think of it as a golden opportunity. A chance for Inland Southern California to catch its breath, re-focus and begin adding balance back to the region's landscape. Fortunately, a smattering of projects, both built and proposed (some of which are stalled due to the current economic climate) may signal change is afoot. But just as it took several decades to get to where we are today, it will likely take several to re-balance. But without a doubt, the transformation needs to begin sooner rather than later.

Thus, the question remains -- will we take advantage of the current slowdown to begin addressing and planning for the region's long-term, sustainable economic and lifestyle needs? We think the clear answer is -- can we afford not to?


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Local malls holding their own

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On the heels of the worst holiday shopping season since 1969, the nation's retail landscape is likely headed for moderate changes as weak and battered retailers file for bankruptcy protection, close stores and/or shut down entirely. The transformation could see shoppers, both nationally and locally, greeted in the coming months with more than a few empty storefronts lining the halls and pathways of their favorite malls and shopping centers.

Thus far, former retail giants Circuit City, Mervyn's and KB Toys have each announced full closures, while regional department store Gottschalks recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Though the closures of the former have affected nearly every mall nationwide, Gottschalks -- if forced to close -- could spell additional trouble locally as the Fresno-based retailer has anchor stores at 7 area malls. (It could also bring a final end to a local retail empire that began in 1905 as The Harris Company).

Another potentially large impact locally is whether national mall owners will shed some or all local malls as they struggle under the weight of debt during a very tight credit market. With the possibility of reorganization on the horizon, Chicago-based General Growth Properties -- owner of four local malls, including three of the region's largest -- in particular could add additional stress to the local retail scene.

So, where does this recent -- and potentially future -- turbulence leave local malls? Let's take a closer look at each.


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2006
Carousel Mall

Carousel Mall - San Bernardino

For all intents and purposes, this mall is already dead. Opened with great fanfare as Central City Mall in 1972, the 37-year-old, Victor Gruen-designed center began its decline in the mid-1990s, not long after being rechristened as the Carousel Mall. In 2000, the flagship Harris' department store closed (it had opened independently in 1927). The remaining anchors, Montgomery Ward and JCPenney departed soon thereafter (2002 and 2003 respectively). Although a planned mixed-use redevelopment has stalled, it's not likely the few remaining stores will survive the current retail environment.


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2001
Redlands Mall

Redlands Mall

Tiny by mall standards, the Redlands Mall is likely to be the next area mall to fall -- particularly if General Growth Properties reorganizes and/or Gottschalks closes. Such a closure would leave the 32-year-old mall without its only department store. However, this may not be such a bad thing as it could expedite pending redevelopment of the downtown block into a mixed-use project that will both complement and enhance the existing retail and commercial uses on State Street.


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2003
Hemet Valley Mall

Hemet Valley Mall

HVM is another relatively tiny mall that could potentially be greatly impacted by Gottschalks' bankruptcy. A closure by Gottschalks here would leave the 29-year-old mall with two anchors (JCPenney and Sears). However, with the Hemet-San Jacinto area primed for future growth (and still relatively underserved retail-wise), it's doubtful an empty anchor would remain unused over the long haul. The center's biggest threat is likely to be any future large-scale retail development that may occur nearby in the coming years.


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2006
Inland Center

Inland Center - San Bernardino

With the fall of Mervyn's, which had been slated to fill the shuttered Broadway/Macy's, and the recent bankruptcy announcement by Gottschalks, this mall is probably the largest local mall potentially on shaky ground. The 43-year-old center could very well end the year with two of four anchor pads empty (leaving Macy's and Sears). However, with the all-but-final demise of nearby Carousel Mall nearly complete, coupled with potentially having two available department store pads, Inland Center could also have a slight advantage redevelopment-wise when the economy picks back up.


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2006
Promenade Shops

The Promenade Shops at Dos Lagos - Corona

Another small, non-traditional mall, The Promenade Shops in Corona could be the newest center that's struggling the most. Depending upon how the national retail landscape shakes out, the center's lack of large department stores could either hurt or help. In the short term, the 3-year-old center could very well see some store closings. However, its location within a high-growth and higher-end demographic corridor likely assures a future of some sort (though it could use help increasing its visibility). It also has that unique lake/bridge feature to boot. Even so, its biggest threat is the nearby Galleria at Tyler in Riverside, which includes a Nordstrom, Macy's and over 100 more stores than does Dos Lagos.


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2006
Moreno Valley Mall

Moreno Valley Mall at Towngate

Already impacted by last year's closure of its Gottschalks store (which remains empty), the Moreno Valley Mall could see significant impacts from any potential reorganization of General Growth Properties. The 17-year-old center was slated to receive a Steve & Barry's, until that company joined the ranks of shuttered retailers last fall. However, with three other anchors -- Macy's, JCPenney and Sears -- the mall, which has struggled in the past, remains relatively healthy. Likewise, future long-term growth to the east and south favor its survival.


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2005
Riverside Plaza

Riverside Plaza

Another one-anchor mall that could be greatly impacted by any potential closure of Gottschalks is the venerable Riverside Plaza. As the region's oldest, large-scale shopping center, the 52-year-old, Victor Gruen Associates-designed Plaza has been performing well since its third incarnation opened in 2005 (which is less mall and more dining and entertainment). On one hand, a closure of Gottschalks would offer a unique opportunity for just the right anchor to step in and assume the 204,000 sq. ft., 4-level building (maybe an IKEA?). However, it could lead to the demolishing of the region's oldest, "modern" department store (and first, large-scale Harris' to be built beyond the flagship store in downtown San Bernardino). Yet, among the smaller malls of the region, Riverside Plaza is most likely to weather the turbulence.


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2001
Ontario Mills

Ontario Mills

Though more outlet center than traditional mall, the gigantic Ontario Mills recently had its own brush with fate as the beleaguered Mills Corp was acquired by Simon Property Group in early 2007. It's difficult to say exactly how Ontario Mills will be affected by the retail downturn as its size -- and lower-grade store makeup -- is probably as much an asset as it is a liability. In some sense, the lack of traditional department store anchors might be beneficial. Likewise, the area surrounding the 13-year-old center has become a strong magnet for peripheral commercial uses, attracting everything from major big-box retailers and traditional strip centers to mid-range hotels. But this has led to unfriendly traffic levels (and very unfriendly pedestrian atmosphere) and possibly over-saturation. However, its location at the highly visible junction of the I-10 and I-15 likely assures its long-term future -- in one form or another.


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2008
The Shoppes

The Shoppes at Chino Hills

About the size of Corona's Promenade Shops but with the look of Victoria Gardens, The Shoppes at Chino Hills will likely weather the current retail turbulence. Its location adjacent to the city's new (and future) civic center coupled with the area's high-end demographics likely assures a future for the small, 1-year-old center. However, its lack of traditional department stores and insufficient parking could be a significant hindrance. As such, the center's biggest threat is the nearby Montclair Plaza, which offers both a Nordstrom and Macy's (and many more stores).


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2008
Montclair Plaza

Montclair Plaza

As one of the area's largest and oldest indoor malls, the Montclair Plaza recently underwent a moderate interior renovation. With anchors Nordstrom, Macy's, JCPenney and Sears, it has traditionally been one of the strongest malls in the region. Yet, the 41-year-old center does have an empty anchor (the former Broadway/Macy's) and could be impacted by any potential reorganization of its owner (General Growth Properties). It also faces stiff competition from newer, higher-end developments nearby (Shoppes at Chino Hills and Victoria Gardens). However, the mall is more than likely to weather anything excepting a major transformation of the retail landscape.


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2006
Galleria at Tyler

Galleria at Tyler - Riverside

With anchors Nordstrom, Macy's and JCPenney, the Galleria at Tyler is both one of the largest and strongest traditional malls in the region. Solidified by recent expansions that included AMC Theaters, Yard House, The Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang's, the 39-year-old center is likely to weather anything but a major retail shake up. Yet, it too is owned by General Growth Properties and also has an existing empty anchor (the former Broadway/Macy's). However, its freeway-adjacent location between higher-end demographics in both Riverside and Corona more than likely assures the center's long-term viability.


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2006
The Promenade

The Promenade in Temecula

Probably the most insulated mall in the region, Temecula's Promenade stands on relatively solid ground. With four anchors -- Macy's-north, Macy's-south, JCPenney and Sears -- and few large-scale competitors nearby, the 10-year-old center dominates the southwestern Riverside County retail market. As with Montclair Plaza and Galleria at Tyler, the Promenade will withstand anything but a major retail shake up. And, along with Victoria Gardens, it will likely be in the running for the region's next Nordstrom.


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2006
Victoria Gardens

Victoria Gardens - Rancho Cucamonga

Probably the strongest and certainly the most unique mall in the region, Victoria Gardens is likely to weather most anything excepting a major transformation of the retail landscape. Its solid reputation, above-average store mix and pleasant outdoor atmosphere puts this center on relatively solid ground. It also contains the city's cultural center (with library and playhouse). The only foreseeable scenario potentially affecting the 5-year-old center would be the closing or consolidation of one or both Macy's anchors (one | two). Such closures could potentially leave the 3-anchor mall with a single anchor (JCPenney). However, its highly likely a retailer the likes of Nordstrom would quickly snap up any empty anchor store.



Related

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Press-Enterprise


GO - Citizens Business Bank Arena

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Oct. 2008
Southeast entrance

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Oct. 2008
Interior view

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Oct. 2008
East end

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Seating configuration - hockey

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After more than a decade since first envisioned, several years of planning, a few false starts and 18 months of construction, a new day in sports and entertainment for Inland Southern California began Saturday as Citizens Business Bank Arena opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Dubbed "Community Day," the grand opening event saw several thousand people take a peek inside the new $150 million, 11,000 seat arena in Ontario. Located near the I-10/I-15 interchange, the arena rests on a portion of the former site for Ontario Motor Speedway. Immediately to the east is Ontario Mills mall while across I-10 sits LA/Ontario International Airport.

The facility, which is managed by AEG (who also oversee LA's Staples Center), is Inland Southern California's first major-league caliber arena and will play host to everything from sporting events and concerts to children's shows and community events. The facility's first official event is an October 24 exhibition game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly Seattle SuperSonics). Carrie Underwood's November 9 date will be the venue's inaugural concert. But the real acoustical test is likely to come December 12 when an already sold-old appearance is made by Metallica.

In between concerts and other sporting events, the arena will be home to the Ontario Reign, the new Double-A affiliate ice hockey club of the Los Angeles Kings. The Reign will play in the 24-team ECHL as a member of the Pacific Division along with Las Vegas, Fresno, Stockton and Bakersfield (the new Anaheim Ducks affiliate).

Designed by Rossetti Associates, the 225,000 sq. ft. facility contains 9,500 fixed seats with expansion risers allowing 11,089 for concerts, 10,832 for basketball and 9,736 for ice hockey. There are also 36 luxury suites -- 24 Club suites and 12 Skybox suites -- both with their own VIP areas and outdoor patios. An open-ended concourse fills a portion of the arena's western end.

Our first impressions? Top-notch and first class; comfortably large and yet intimate. The seats offer excellent sightlines and feel close to the floor, even from above. No matter where one sits, there simply is not a bad seat in the house. Not even the single seat atop section 219.

At two-thirds the size of both Los Angeles' Staples Center and Anaheim's Honda Center, we think Citizens' "big, but intimate" atmosphere will make it one of Southern California's premier concert venues. (With sincere apologies to Long Beach Arena -- a long-time favorite of local music fans -- Ontario's new arena is poised to overtake it as the region's best mid-major concert venue.)

Indeed, it's been a long time coming, but Citizens Arena is a venue that both Ontario and Inland Southern California can be proud of.

Photos: Citizens Business Bank Arena

Related

Previous

Update

Sources: City of Ontario, AEG, Rossetti Associates, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Press-Enterprise


Out & About - 10/14/2008

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Flash: Out & About slideshow

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2008
Incorporating the old RIR logo

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2008
March Field Air Museum

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2008
An original WWI-era plane
traced back to March Field

This past weekend saw us check the status on a few ongoing projects in downtown Riverside, including Regency Tower and Main Street Pedestrian Mall as both projects continue moving along. We also managed to take a nice snapshot overlooking downtown as well as take in two local museums.

First up was a visit to the Riverside International Automotive Museum in Riverside. Located in a business park near Hunter Park, the museum pays homage to the former Riverside International Raceway, which hosted major races on the eastern edge of town from 1957 - 1988. On display are posters, videos and various RIR memorabilia -- including a refrigerator from the driver's lounge. The museum also houses 3 Indy Eagle cars from the track's most prolific racer, Dan Gurney.

But more than just honoring RIR, the museum has a small collection of memorabilia from the former Ontario Motor Speedway (which held races from 1970 to 1980 on land where the new arena now stands). Likewise, several sports cars are on display, ranging from Ferrari and Maserati to Indy cars. It's also a working museum with race car restoration projects in the works.

Photos: Riverside International Raceway

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Next was a stop at March Field Air Museum adjacent to I-215 in southeastern Riverside. Located on the western edge of March Air Reserve Base, the museum is comprised of a few hangar-like structures and several outdoor aircraft displays.

An interior exhibit area offers historical displays on March Field -- which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2008 -- as well as the nation's major wars. Several other displays include the Tuskegee Airmen, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, SAC Commander Gen. Curtis LeMay and the International Combat Camera Association. The museum also includes a short film on the history of March Field -- the oldest Air Force base on the west coast -- and it's involvement within the nation's modern military.

Outside on the museum's flightline are over 50 aircraft, including an SR-71 Blackbird, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress, B-52D Stratofortress, F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle and KC-135 Stratotanker. Also on display are 4 Soviet MiG planes and a small hanger dedicated to the P-38.

The museum is also a working museum, with several hangers set up for ongoing restoration projects. Future plans at the museum include expansion for more interior exhibit space and a re-working of the exterior flightline.

When visiting March Field Air Museum, be sure to make time for a few solemn moments across the freeway at Riverside National Cemetery, which was the former site of Camp Haan during World War II.

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This colorful "Empire" extends into the San Bernardino, Riverside,
and Los Angeles counties.


Color Photo by Luis and Virginia Kay / Columbia Wholesale Supply, N. Hollywood, Calif.

We're not certain of the exact year, but this postcard appears to be sometime during the 1950s. Based upon "Int'l Airport" being used for notating Ontario Airport, it's likely post-1946 -- the year Ontario Municipal Airport was re-named Ontario International Airport. Likewise, the lack of Lake Perris means it's pre-1974.

Note also the current-day routes for the I-15 and I-215 freeways are signed as 71 and 395 respectively and the 60 Freeway between Riverside and Pomona appears to follow the old Mission Blvd. route, which again, likely dates the card to the 1950s.

At any rate, the postcard hails from a time when Inland Southern California was better known for its orange groves and outdoor recreation rather than for explosive, suburban growth.


Ground broken for Ontario arena

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A new era has begun for Inland Southern California as ground was broken this week for the area's first major-league caliber sports/entertainment arena. Located just west of Ontario Mills near the junction of I-10 and I-15, Citizens Business Bank Arena will rise on one of the last remaining parcels of the former Ontario Motor Speedway.

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Exterior rendering
Rossetti

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Interior rendering
Rossetti

As the centerpiece for the planned Piemonte at Ontario Center, the arena -- with a capacity of 11,000, including 36 luxury suites -- will be owned by the city of Ontario and managed by Los Angeles-based AEG, whom also operate the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The deal with AEG guarantees a minimum 120 events per year, many of which AEG says will be acts it also books for Staples. Also on tap is a minor-league hockey and/or basketball franchise (farm teams from both the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings have been mentioned as likely tenants).

"This is going to create an atmosphere of entertainment that the Inland Empire has been craving for a long time," (Ontario Mayor Paul) Leon told a crowd of invited guests gathered at the site.


... "It's going to do so much not just for Ontario, but for the entire region," (Ontario Councilman Alan) Wapner said.

Daily Bulletin


... "With southern California as AEG's headquarters, we are clearly aware of the demographics and the necessity for a state of the art sports and entertainment arena in Ontario and the Inland Empire," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG.

AEG press release

Coupled with the area's continuing population growth and fast-rising demographics, the long-awaited arena for Inland Southern California reaffirms the region's growing prosperity and maturity within Greater Los Angeles. Considering a local population base of 4 million, our only real complaint is that it has taken this long for such a venue to be built. No doubt the pent-up demand for major entertainment options locally will make the arena successful, likely to the surprise -- and chagrin -- of some LA naysayers.


The grand opening for the $130 milion, 225,000 square foot arena is expected in October 2008. Could a major-league franchise be far behind?

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