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Tribe selects contractor for Agua Caliente’s new vision in Palm Springs

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council announced Tuesday that it will partner with JCJ Architecture of San Diego to create a master plan for 22 acres in downtown Palm Springs based on the Tribe’s vision.

The Tribe closed the Spa Hotel in July of 2014 to make way for the new development, which will be located in the same area; Tahquitz Canyon Way and Indian Canyon Drive.

The downtown property is anchored by the Tribe’s culturally significant ancient Hot Mineral Spring, which has a long history of tourism-centric activities, according to the Tribe’s release.

“JCJ clearly demonstrated their overwhelming desire to work with us on creating a master plan for this site,” Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said. “Creating a master plan will include a dynamic approach that will center around the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring and defining a renewed area around it, transforming the site into a dynamic destination.”

Officials said JCJ Architecture, based in San Diego, is a 78-year-old private firm that creates comprehensive master plans for development that respond to the natural environment, local context, culture and short and long term goals of their clients. The firm utilizes its deep experience in design for Native American Tribal Nations and in the hospitality industry to guide a collaborative process that will respond to the Agua Caliente’s progressive vision for this unique site.

JCJ has been recognized for excellence in planning and design by peer and industry organizations including the American Institute of Architects and the American Gaming Association. The firm has consistently been ranked by Engineering News Record among the nation’s top design firms, according to the Tribe’s release.

The firm’s regional projects include the existing and second hotel tower for Viejas Casino & Resort Hotel in Alpine, CA; Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler, AZ; Hawaiian Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, CA, Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, CA and a Boutique Hotel in Avalon, CA; the range of the firm’s work nationally includes $1 billion in construction value at Foxwoods Resort Casino and the nation’s top slot revenue generator, Resorts World Casino New York City.

The Agua Caliente site includes 22 acres of developable property as well as the one-of-a-kind Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring. To prepare for future development, the Tribe closed the Spa Hotel in July 2014. Buildings on the site are currently in demolition, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015.

Officials said the Hot Mineral Spring is estimated to be upwards of 12,000 years old. Bath houses have operated at the site since the late 1800’s, providing access to the healing water for hundreds of thousands of people for more than 100 years.

News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will keep you updated on the progress of the new development as construction begins.

KESQ News Team

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