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Local businesses react to Palm Springs taking legal action against 4 stalled hotel projects

The city of Palm Springs is taking legal action against the owners of four stalled hotel projects that have turned into eyesores.

News Channel 3's Dani Romero has reaction from local businesses on the legal pressure being applied in an effort to get the projects moving.

"People see it from a far that it is being constructed and it looks like an active construction site so they avoid it," said Karl Gottling, owner of Gottling Gallery. "The interesting part it's not really happening its just sitting there."

Now, the city of Palm Springs is changing that with a legal approach. They are targeting four stalled hotels including Andaz Hotel on Palm Canyon Drive, the Dream Hotel on Amado Road, the Orchid Tree on Belardo Road and the TOVA on North Palm Canyon, to complete those projects.

“I feel like its about time," said Burt Akkara, owner of Oishi Sushi. "I think that they have been taking away parking and being like a nuisance and eye sore for the longest time.” 

News Channel 3 asked the City Manager, David Ready, about the decision to take this legal action.

“Many of these properties have been in and out of bankruptcy. They haven't been able to proceed," said Ready. "Now, what we're going to do is ask the court based on this length of time that if they would be able to help us put it into the hands of a developer that maybe could do it.” 

For some of these projects its been decades of them being on hold. Still, the  city expects the property owners and developers to see these hotel projects to completion. 

“It's keeping the pressure on both parallel tracks to make sure that a year from now, we're not sitting here talking about this same vacant property that we've been doing for several years," said Ready.

Ready added that the city has formally notified the owners and they have 90-days to figure out a solution. 

“We spent years building our tourism economy, hotel incentives, convention center expansion, our new downtown redevelopment," said Ready. "These are the final components to that we must complete."

We reached out to the property owners for each hotel and received this a statement from Don Braun from the Andaz Hotel project.

"Since recently obtaining ownership of the property, we have been actively pursuing the continued development of what was initially planned to be an Andaz Palm Springs hotel. Collectively with our architects, construction consultants, engineers and designers, a tremendous amount of work, effort and capital has already gone into getting the project in a position to recommence construction. We understand the community’s desire to see this project completed, and while we still have work to do, we expect to be in a position to officially restart construction later this year. We are excited about the hotel and the opportunity to bring an exceptional asset to the City of Palm Springs and its many visitors."

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Dani Romero

City News Service

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