City approves sale of business park parcel

City approves sale of business park parcelBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

The Ridgecrest City Council voted last week to approve selling three acres of land in the Ridgecrest Business Park to Hobbs & Carr Development Corp. to be developed as a mixed-use retail and residential area. H&C has offered $590,020.20 for Lot 15 (east of Taco Bell). Laurin Dodd, president of the development company, was on hand to discuss the project.

“We are approaching this from an economic development opportunity. We see the need and opportunity for a mixed-use project in the center of town,” said Dodd.

“What we envision is a mixed use of apartments or condominiums – 40 to 60 units – depending on parking spaces and so forth, and they would be on the second and third floor. And we would envision the first floor to have retail space – anywhere from five to 10 retail spaces – that would house restaurants, Yogurtland-type stuff, barbershops or any retail-type outlet or store. We think it’s a great opportunity to create a nice mixed-use space. It would be a destination in town.”

Dodd said the apartments would range from 1,200-1,500 square feet and might be ideal for hospital employees and temporary military transplants. Additional housing in Ridgecrest will be a necessity according to reports from China Lake that the base will hire a net additional 300 employee within the next year.

He said the residences would also be a mix of pre-furnished, extended-stay and traditional housing. He added that the retail and living spaces would be treated independently and that “people running the businesses won’t necessarily live above them,” though that would be an option for some.

“We’ve done a rough feasibility study and believe it’s a project that will suit the city’s economic needs right now,” he said.

Community and Economic Development Manager Pen Panpradith mentioned that the parcel would need to be rezoned from strictly commercial land to accommodate the mixed use.

The land sale was unanimously approved by council. The Planning Commission will hear an update as H&C continues to develop a site plan.

Pictured: Mock-up of Hobbs & Carr Development Corp.’s proposed mixed-use development planned for the Ridgecrest Business Park.

Story First Published: 2018-03-30