Six-story downtown condo project may take small step forward next week
A 45-unit condominium project is planned for a vacant lot that currently houses a makeshift graffiti park.

Six-story downtown condo project may take small step forward next week

The project is located on a significant plot of land across from the new Downtown Park. The land currently contains concrete blocks that artists can spray paint.

A major piece in the puzzle that is a reimagined Downtown Palm Springs could possibly move forward during a meeting next week.

Driving the news: Minor design revisions to a previously approved six-story, 73,300-square foot building with 45 condominiums and ground floor commercial are up for review before the city’s Architectural Review Committee on Tuesday, July 5.

  • The project is located on a significant plot of land across from the new Downtown Park. The land currently contains concrete blocks that form a makeshift graffiti park.

  • Grit Development had planned to partner to construct a Virgin Hotel at the location. That project was abandoned at the start of the pandemic in favor of residential development.

Rewind: The hotel project had been in discussions since 2015. It faced multiple delays, including some brought on by the arrest of developers John Wessman and Richard Meaney and then-Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet.

  • Prosecutors alleged that Pougnet pocketed $375,000 between 2012 and 2014 to vote favorably on certain development projects, including the redevelopment of Downtown Palm Springs that included the Virgin Hotel.

  • The case against the three is still working its way through the courts. All are free on bond.
Developers hope to construct a condominium project on this corner lot in Downtown Palm Springs.

At issue: The condo project first came before the Committee in September 2020 for initial review. At the time it consisted of 62 units. One month later, Committee members voted against approving it, citing the overall size, the scale of an interior courtyard, and vertical exterior design they said was too flat.

  • Following a public hearing in December 2020, the city’s Planning Commission voted 3-2 against the application and 5-0 against its tentative tract map (TTM). The City Council, however, unanimously approved the overall project with conditions in January 2021, and voted 3-2 to approve the TTM.

  • Since that time, the developer has made minor revisions to the plans in hopes of moving forward. Among them are the addition of windows on the east side of the building, a new courtyard layout, and balcony railings made from metal cables instead of glass.

Next up: The Architectural Review Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. on July 5. You can see its meeting agenda here.

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