Neighborhood market construction begins in Palm Springs ‘food desert’

Shopping carts will soon be rolling in north Palm Springs as construction of a long-awaited food market is underway at the southwest corner of Indian Canyon and San Rafael drives.

Tower Market, with six locations in the Coachella Valley and one currently under construction in Cathedral City, plans to open a 5,343-square-foot “neighborhood market” and fuel station on 2.59 acres of undeveloped land in an area the city describes as a “food desert.”

Per city requirements agreed to by developers as part of a conditional use permit, the market will feature:

  • A minimum of 15 percent of display space at the store will be devoted to perishable groceries, including meats, dairy, and produce;
  • A minimum of 30 percent of display space will be devoted to other staple foods, including items such as bread, pasta, and canned foods;
  • A maximum of 20 percent of shelf space devoted to alcohol; and
  • At least five shopping carts available to customers
An artist’s rendering of the future Palm Springs Tower Market at the southwest corner of Indian Canyon and San Rafael drives.

The sight of fencing going up and crews starting work is welcome news for neighbors, who for years have asked city officials to bring a grocery store and other basic services to the area. During recent listening sessions, designed to take input from residents regarding the city’s 20-year future, many of those neighbors continued to plead their case.

“We need to center the community in places beyond downtown Palm Springs,” said Naomi Soto, a resident of the Sonora Sunrise neighborhood. “I would love to see a center of commerce, not just in downtown Palm Springs.”

That moment could be now. Not only is Tower Market under construction, but a groundbreaking ceremony is planned for October on a 60-unit apartment complex across the street. That project, dubbed the Monarch Apartments, will be the city’s first affordable housing project in more than a dozen years. Just down the road, Miralon, a 1,150-unit new home development, has seen brisk sales.

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