City moving ahead to demolish one of four abandoned hotel projects
Palm Springs officials are moving ahead with plans to demolish at least one stalled hotel project. The City Council is expected to approve seeking bids for the demolition work tonight at its regular meeting.
Plans for the Tova Hotel and Beach Club project, at 1875 N. Palm Canyon Dr., were first announced in 2016, showing a modern, 104-room hotel with “lushly furnished rooms and suites, many with dramatic mountain views” replacing the defunct Garden Vista Hotel. Instead, according to a city staff report, “the property and the remaining deconstructed buildings have remained partially demolished and in a state of blight causing a public nuisance since 2017.”
The project is one of four in the city that are stalled and in similar states of partial construction. Each project – The Andaz Palm Springs at 400 N. Palm Canyon Drive, The Dream Hotel at 450 N. Calle Alvarado, The Orchid Tree Inn at 261 Belardo Road, and the Tova project – has been delayed for different reasons, none related to COVID-19. Earlier this year, City Attorney Jeff Ballinger was instructed to move ahead with legal action aimed at forcing the projects to resume.
Previous efforts by the city at the Tova project site included a notice of violation issued to the property owner in July 2020, giving 60 days to start moving the project forward. The 60 days came and went with no action. Subsequently, the property owner filed bankruptcy, and the appointed trustee asked for a delay in any city action. That request was denied by a judge on May 11, giving the city the go-ahead to order demolition.
City staff estimate the demolition will cost $280,000. Those funds would need to come out of the city’s general fund. The vote this evening is to authorize seeking bids for that work.
Other items on the City Council agenda (available here) this evening include:
A public hearing on increased fees for some city businesses, including a 900% hike in the annual license fee for retail cannabis businesses. That issue was reported in The Post earlier this week
Consideration of a vote to allow VillageFest to begin again on July 1
Approval of all-way stops at the intersections of Matthew Drive and South Linden Way, and Cherokee Way and Santa Monica Street
Approval for some retail cannabis businesses to have their products visible from outside the businesses, among other related issues
Review of the city’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year and five-year capital improvement plan to run from 2022-2026
During a closed session earlier in the afternoon, where city staff and elected officials discuss matters related to ongoing litigation, the Council will discuss two matters of interest to the public:
Russell Manning vs. City of Palm Springs, a civil case first filed in 2017 against the city, the police department, and an officer
Committee to Relocate Marilyn v. City of Palm Springs, et al., which involves placement of a 26-foot-tall statue of actress Marilyn Monroe on Museum Way. That ongoing dispute has been covered by The Post most recently here
TO PARTICIPATE: Residents who wish to speak at the Council meeting may call the Office of the City Clerk prior to the meeting no later than 5 PM. The phone number is 760-323-8204. At the appropriate time, a staff member will call members of the public to provide testimony. Written comments may also be submitted to the City Council by emailing email@example.com. The public can view the meeting online here, on the city’s YouTube channel, or on Palm Springs Community Television Channel 17.
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BIKE THIEF: Palm Springs police report they caught a suspected burglar in the act on Wednesday. According to the department, they received a call about an adult male attempting to take a bicycle from an unoccupied vacation rental in the 2800 Block of Sonora Rd. They arrived on the scene shortly after the call and spotted a 42-year-old Palm Springs man attempting to flee the area with a red bicycle. The man was arrested for suspicion of burglary and parole violation and transported to the Indio Jail for booking.
SHELTER FULLY OPEN: Palm Springs Animal Shelter, 4575 E Mesquite Ave., is once again fully open to the public, it announced Wednesday. The shelter had been requiring appointments to view and adopt animals during the pandemic. As of Wednesday, the doors are open and you may visit without an appointment. The shelter’s low-cost vaccine clinics, offered on Thursdays, will remain by appointment only. You can call 760-416-5718 to book an appointment
JOB FAIR: The Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E Palm Canyon Dr., will host a job fair today from 10 AM-6 PM, according to a report from KESQ. Positions available include server, bartender, room service attendant, host, busser/runner, housekeeping room attendant, line cook, prep cook, massage therapist, licensed hair and makeup artist, front desk agent and reservations agent. Those hired at the job fair will receive a $500 signing bonus, the report stated.
FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at two locations. A mobile market will be set up at the James O. Jessie Desert Highlands Unity Center, 480 W Tramview Rd., from 4-6 PM. Food is also available at the community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Road, between 5 PM and 7 PM. That location is open every Thursday. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community is available here.
FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5-7 PM this evening. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.
CITY COUNCIL: The Palm Springs City Council holds its regular meeting tonight at 5:30 PM. Information on viewing the meeting online, as well as an agenda, can be found here. See above for a complete preview.
VACCINES: Anyone 12 and older now qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine in Riverside County. If you qualify, you can get one at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 North Avenida Caballeros, from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 8:30 AM until 7 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments are not required, and those age 12-17 need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You can also find a list of community providers such as pharmacies here.
Want to know about city and other municipal events? Road construction in your neighborhood? Building activity? Have something to report? The following links should help: