After being on the market for just over a year, The Shops at Palm Desert have a new owner, and a new plan.
There are currently 100 shops in the space, the largest shopping district until Cabazon.
Current anchor stores include Macy’s, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Barnes & Noble.
The new owners, L.A. based company, Pacific Retail Capital Partners, says the future could include more than just shops.
PRCP has redeveloped several malls in Southern California and some of those plans included a mixed-use space, with room for both shopping and housing.
For many business owners, the new ownership for The Shops at Palm Desert came at no surprise.
Abel Silva, who helped supervise ‘Oak West’ inside the mall for the past 15 years, says there’s been an ongoing shift in energy.
“Well, the maintenance has been okay, but just the energy here and, and the interaction with the personnel on their availability. It was challenging.” Silva says.
According to the City of Palm Desert, the search for new ownership started two years ago, after seeing a number of different tenants leave the location.
“I think the city was really looking for a responsible owner for the property, and someone that potentially could be a partner with the city and looking at a long term redevelopment strategy for the site.” Eric Ceja, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Palm Desert says.
Under the new ownership, the shops could develop into something much different than what they currently are.
“The city itself has really looked at how malls have redeveloped on a national scale, and what you see is a lot of those parking areas get filled in with new uses. Those new uses will include housing, maybe some open space and rec space to have areas that are programmed for the new residence that are there, and a way to actually support the existing commercial or retail base.” Ceja adds.
The city adds that the re-development plan could add hotel, entertainment, and educational areas as well.
Most importantly, the city wants to help create a family-friendly environment for the residents here in the Coachella Valley.
“Having that kind of center or a community center kind of focus where people can come and congregate, meet one another in a safe environment and have an experience. I think it’s kind of one of the long term plans for the site.” Ceja says.
Palm Desert adds that they are years away from any visible transformation to the property, but they encourage residents to contribute any ideas and visions for the property, through the city’s engagement page.