City settles lawsuits, paving way for hotel project near convention center

Settlement of a pair of lawsuits between the city and a developer will likely result in a new hotel project near the Palm Springs Convention Center, the city announced Thursday.

The “Prairie Schooner” property, currently used as a parking lot between the Convention Center and multiple hotels near North Calle El Segundo and East Andrea Road, is at the center of multiple lawsuits involving the development company, Nexus Companies, and the city. The lawsuits stem from a public corruption case involving a former Nexus employee, who is alleged to have paid former Palm Springs Mayor Steven Pougnet bribes in return for the company buying the property from the city at a greatly reduced rate. The city was seeking to have the property returned to its control.

Under terms of the settlement agreement, the owner of the property, a Nexus affiliate,  has agreed to pursue the development and construction of a hotel project at the property, and the city has agreed to expedite its hotel entitlement application. It also calls for a potential pedestrian walkway connection from the hotel/Convention Center to the downtown area to be constructed in conjunction with the hotel.

“A hotel at this site is what the city originally wanted, and this agreement enables that to happen,” said Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege. “This will be a tremendous boost to our Convention Center and downtown, especially as we re-emerge from the COVID pandemic.”


BRIEFLY

FREE DIAPERS: Find Food Bank and the city will host free diaper distribution at the Palm Springs Convention Center Feb. 15 from 3:30-6:30 PM. Diapers will be available in medium, large and extra large. Anyone in need is invited to drive through at 277 N. Avenida Caballeros.

CORONAVIRUS VACCINES: The city, in partnership with Riverside University Health System and Curative Inc., will open a Coronavirus vaccine clinic at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, from 8 AM-5 PM Mondays through Fridays, starting Feb. 15. Vaccines will be administered by appointment only. Appointments can be reserved online at www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine.

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