Redlands Mall project could take 15 years to complete – San Bernardino Sun

The redevelopment project on the site of the closed Redlands Mall may have been approved last month, but it could be 2037 before work is finished.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday, June 14, unanimously recommended the City Council approve a contract for the State Street Village project that spells out some details, including a timeline and city fees.

If the council approves the agreement, the builder would have five years to start construction and another 10 years to finish the planned five mixed-use buildings and one retail building downtown. The mixed-use buildings as approved by the city include 700 housing units in structures up to four stories tall.

This artist rendering shows the proposed Redlands Mall redevelopment and associated new CVS Pharmacy that were approved by the City Council on May 10, 2022. (Courtesy of City of Redlands)

Commissioners wondered if the development impact fees would cover the effects such a large development would have on the city, and if anything could be done to shorten the project timeline.

“Fifteen years is a really long time,” Commissioner Karah Shaw told colleagues as she tried to find a way to shrink the timeline to help both the developer and the public.

Typically the right to build approved projects lasts for two years and can be extended for up to three more years, according to a written report for the meeting.

If the developer misses the deadlines the entitlements are no longer valid and the agreement terminates, Development Services Director Brian Desatnik said at the meeting.

The reason for the protracted finish line is CVS Pharmacy, the last remaining tenant of the mall, which has 15 years left in its lease, and the developer reported it’s been difficult to get the store’s corporate headquarters to agree to moving the profitable location.

The developer “has almost $20 million invested in this project,” Desatnik said. “Their carrying costs are significant, and there’s very little income being generated by the property at this point, including the CVS lease, so they have pretty strong incentive to continue to move the project forward (quickly).”

Shaw asked if a stricter timeline would give developer Village Partners leverage to get the pharmacy to move.

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