City hears about more development projects

City hears about more development projectsBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Development projects discussed by the Ridgecrest City Council during its regular meeting on Oct. 3 included the land sale for the proposed TownePlace Suites, a new apartment complex and the long-awaited renovation of the Ridgecrest Senior Center

Council unanimously approved a $209,878 construction contract (allowing for $23,185 in contingency funds) with PVC Plumbing and Mechanical for a floor-to-ceiling renovation of the senior center.

“I can’t tell you how pleased I am to bring this before you tonight,” said City Engineer Loren Culp. “ In the words of my dad, ‘Time, patience and perseverance conquer all things.’”

“God bless you, young man!” said Linda Fuller, who has attended several recent council meetings to inquire about the status of the project.

Fuller is a commissioner for the Department of Aging and frequent advocate for adequate services for senior citizens.

Council also approved the $617,000 land sale of former Ridgecrest Redevelopment Agency land in the Ridgecrest Business Park for the proposed TownePlace Suites.

Ridgecrest Hospitality, LLC, is purchasing 2.58 acres on the corner of East Ward Avenue and Chelsea Street, directly behind Taco Bell. The item was pulled from last month’s agenda to reevaluate the fair market price of the property and appeared at the Oct. 3 meeting with a slightly higher purchase price.

The city will receive only slightly more than 3 percent of the sale, the rest of which will go to other successor agencies. Sierra Sands Unified School District gets the bulk of the funds according to Mayor Peggy Breeden.

“Even though we’re receiving a small amount, we will be receiving transient occupancy tax,” added Councilmember Lindsey Stephens.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott are designed to be extended-stay lodgings, often pet-friendly, with full kitchens, fitness centers and other amenities.

City Manager Ron Strand said the city would receive about $21,000 from the sale.

The Ridgecrest Planning Commission had approved a site plan and development agreement for 198 Red Rock Villas apartments in August. Administrative Analyst Heather Spurlock of the city’s Community & Economic Development Department brought it to council with Planning Consultant Asoka Herath to request zoning changes for the project.

The proposed 13.32-acre project will be on South Downs Street, just north of the bike lane and drainage basin running alongside West Bowman Road.

The two parcels are currently zoned as Residential Medium-Density and Commercial Village. Council approved both to be rezoned as Residential High Density, allowing as many as 29 dwelling units per acre.

Developers Ridgecrest Inves-tors, LLC and 900 Downs, LLC hope to build 198 apartment units over three phases.

Phase 1 includes 22 dwelling units. Phase 2 is 65 additional units to begin development within 28 days of receiving a certificate of occupancy for Phase 1. Phase 3 is 111 additional units to begin development within 28 days of receiving a certificate of occupancy for Phase 2.

Offsite street improvements, to be spread out among the three phases, include curb and gutter, a full-length center median and left-hand turn pockets, an ADA-compliant driveway approach, street striping, a bike lane and street signage.

Pictured: Digital render of a possible TownePlace Suites in the Ridgecrest Business Park

Story First Published: 2018-10-12