Multiple construction projects catch attention of residents

A new Starbucks is under construction at Sunrise and Vista Chino (left), and a Starbucks and Raising Cane’s are both under construction at Ramon and San Luis Rey Drive (right).

Fans of a major brand’s coffee beverages are about to have their drive-through options doubled. Two new Starbucks stores, complete with drive-throughs, are under construction in Palm Springs.

One store, in the Sunrise Square shopping center at North Sunrise Way and East Vista Chino, is currently going through the approval process for signage in anticipation of opening later this year. Aside from a 2,200-square-foot Starbucks, the new building, when complete, will also offer 1,200 square feet for another business that is yet to be determined.

The other store, in the Destination Ramon shopping center at Ramon Road and San Luis Rey Drive, is one of two buildings being constructed on the site of a former Office Depot. Aside from the Starbucks, a Raising Cane’s is also under construction at the site. Raising Cane’s specializes in chicken tenders. It opened a location on September 1 in Beaumont.

When fully operational, the new Starbucks stores will join two others with drive-throughs in the city. Those are located at 425 S. Sunrise Way and 682 S. Palm Canyon Dr. A third stand-alone store, a Starbucks Reserve, is located at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon Drive. The franchise’s beverages are also offered inside multiple city grocery stores.

A former gas station at 1100 S. Palm Canyon Dr., seen in both its current state and an artist’s rendering, is currently undergoing remodeling after being sold in 2020. At one point, it was proposed for demolition.

Another construction project catching the attention of residents is in South Palm Springs. A new owner is repairing and remodeling a former gas station and other buildings at 1100 S. Palm Canyon Dr. that at one time were headed for demolition.

Historical records indicate the site housed a gas station as far back as 1942. Another building on the property at one time was used as a temporary branch library that was shared with the Palm Springs Historical Society. The person most associated with the site, Floyd Bigley, was a longtime operator and owner of several automobile service stations in Palm Springs, who also served on the City Council in the 1940s. At one time, he lived in an adjacent home.

A fire that broke out behind the service station in the early 2000s severely damaged the home and it has not been occupied since. In 2019, the former owner of the property asked to demolish all buildings on the property and city staff approved. Instead, the property was sold in April 2020 for $865,000.

An application for the current work does not list any future tenant and describes the project only as “Palm Springs Storage.”

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TRIALS START: Trial is set in Indio today for for Brian Conroy, who is accused of fatally shooting his mother at their Palm Springs home in November 2017, and also for Robert Garcia Jr., who is accused of causing a fatal crash in the city while under the influence of drugs in January 2017. The victim in the shooting, Amber Lane, worked as the marketing director at Wang’s in the Desert. Her son’s arrest came in the early morning hours of November 20, 2017 after Palm Springs police responded to a 911 call regarding a shooting at their Calle San Antonio home. Conroy, now 22, was ordered held without bail at the time of the shooting. In the case of Garcia, the 55-year-old Yucca Valley man was reportedly driving a vehicle south on Sunrise Way at around 6 PM January 30, 2017 when it turned onto Amado Road and collided with an oncoming SUV. A passenger in Garcia’s vehicle, 39-year-old Keyon Parks, also from Yucca Valley, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger, who was not identified, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver and a passenger in the SUV were taken to the hospital with moderate injuries following the crash.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: The Palm Springs Police Department will increase patrols throughout September to crack down on driving violations that put pedestrians at risk. As part of Pedestrian Safety Month, police will be searching for violations such as failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, illegal turns, failing to stop at stop signs or signals, and speeding. According to police officials, 2020 saw the largest year-over-year increase — 21 percent — in cases of pedestrians being killed by motor vehicles in the state. In 2019, pedestrians accounted for 27 percent of all traffic-related deaths in California, officials added. “It’s simple: Slow down and stop for pedestrians. They have the same rights to the road as everyone else,” Palm Springs Police Department Sgt. Arnold Galvan said. Officials also urged pedestrians to be cautious while crossing streets, use designated crosswalks, and stay off the phone while walking or jogging to reduce the chances of getting injured.

TRAM CLOSED: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway closes for its annual maintenance starting today. If all goes well, it should reopen on October 4. This year, in addition to routine maintenance, staff at the tram said one of the track ropes will be repositioned. That maintenance is done every 12 years. The pendant ropes, along with their linings and bushings, will also be changed.

BUS SERVICE: Sunline Transit is scheduled to return to normal bus operations today for the first time since it scaled back service more than a year ago because of the pandemic. The change means customers can expect routes to have more frequent operations. Sunline had been operating on weekend schedules since March of 2020. Complete route information can be found here.

SCHOOL COVID: As of this morning, the Palm Springs Unified School District is reporting 82 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff. Schools in Palm Springs account for nine of those cases, including right among students and one among staff. The most cases in any school were reported at Palm Springs High School, where three students are reportedly infected.


MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers multiple classes today, starting at 8 AM. Included in today’s offerings are a tribal belly dancing fitness class. For more information about all of today’s offerings, click here.

DESERT WATER MEETING: The Desert Water Agency Board of Directors meets virtually at 8 AM. Information about viewing the meeting or participating, as well as a complete agenda, can be found here.

LIBRARY CRAFTS: The public is invited to pick up materials needed for this month’s Palm Springs Public Library craft project. The library is located at 300 S. Sunrise Way and is open from 10 AM until 6 PM. This month’s craft project celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and will be demonstrated on Wednesday.


HUNGER ACTION: FIND Food Bank is engaging with the public through fundraising and awareness events this month in an effort to leave no local resident hungry. Multiple Palm Springs businesses, including EIGHT4NINE Restaurant and Lounge, Ace Hotel & Swim Club, the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, Grounded Body Works, and PS Underground, are joining in the efforts. For more information about all local events this month, go here.

LIBRARY CARD DRIVE: The Palm Springs Public Library is running its annual library card drive during the month of September. Library cards are free to residents of California and offer many advantages other than being able to reserve and check out books. Ready for a library card? Just head to this site to register.

VOTING OPEN: Our partners at The Coachella Valley Independent have started the process of determining the best of the best in the Coachella Valley for 2021-2022 and need your help. Nominations are currently being accepted via fill-in-the-blank voting through September 13. After that, the top vote-getters in each category move on to the final round of voting, and winners are announced on November 22. To nominate a business or person in any one of multiple categories, start here.

FILM FESTIVAL: All-access passes, six-packs, and individual tickets are now on sale for Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ+ Film Festival, held September 16 through 30 at the Historic Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2100 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. This year, Cinema Diverse is offering a multi-platform experience with films available virtually and at the theater. Complete information about tickets for this year’s event can be found here. Sponsorship opportunities can be found here.


Want to know what’s happening in your city and at agencies that make decisions affecting your neighborhood? See below for calendars, meeting agendas, and links to all city services, police reports, code enforcement reports, and more:

City of Palm Springs calendar of events | Official city contacts

Palm Springs Public Library calendar of events

Palm Springs Unified School District calendar | Board meetings

Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors meeting agendas

Mizell Center calendar of events

Desert Water Agency calendar

ONE-PS calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Street sweeping schedule

Palm Springs Disposal pickup schedule | Holiday schedules

Sunline Transit bus schedule

Currently active development projects

FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule

Well in the Desert daily meals | Food distribution


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