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Looking ahead at the new year 2023. What new projects and events you will see around the Coachella Valley this year

As the Coachella Valley heads into the new year, KESQ News Channel 3 is looking at some of the notable events, initiatives, and new projects people will want to know about, city by city. Here are additional details to our report on News Channel 3 at 6:00 p.m.


The mayor says the city’s new warehousing projects include an Amazon warehouse which could begin building in 2023 and be open by 2025. Another million-square-foot warehouse has been approved. 

The city is also focused on public safety and economic development. As for public safety, Desert Hot Springs, according to Mayor Scott Matas, has the lowest reportable crime in the Coachella Valley. They’re budgeted for 33 officers in 2023, but looking to add more. The city is also focusing on better officer pay for the past two years. A $16 million bond measure will pay for an upgraded public safety campus including a new fire station in the city, along with an expanded police annex with a customer counter and more detective space. Separately, the city is set to break ground on a new fire station on the city’s east side. 

Planning continues for the downtown project, a revamped version of the city’s never realized 2009 Vortex Plan. They want to focus on a walkable block along Pierson Boulevard from Cactus to West Drive. They mayor says, “We’re going to have Food Truck Fridays starting in February.” Also, a taco challenge where the mayor says, “You can get a card and go to all the different restaurants in town, taste tacos, and rate them for our community.” 


A new much-talked-about, controversial, but most people also admit much-needed Homeless Navigation center will begin offering 70 units of housing for individuals and families by mid-year. 

Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner said, “So we should see a difference in people getting help and seeing less people living in our streets and in our parks. The City says nearly 100 affordable housing units will also open in 2023.

It’s also moving ahead on at least 3 affordable housing Monarch Apartments off Indian Canyon, Mid 23, Allen Development breaking ground in summer transition housing, and DAP expanding 192 affordable housing units by 2024 with half this year. 

The city is also looking forward to a restoration of the Plaza Theatre taking shape, and the City’s 85th anniversary on April 8 from noon to 9:00 p.m. in the Downtown Park.  


In Cathedral City, construction will begin on a new $8.5 million dollar park in the Dream Homes neighborhood next to the CV Link. 

Charlie McClendon, Cathedral City City Manager said, “Improvement in an area that's underserved in terms of parks and we’re excited to see that happen.”  

Construction will begin for a mixed-use development project across from the new Agua Caliente Casino. 

“The first phase will be commercial development along the east Palm Canyon frontage,” McClendon said.”

Date Palm Drive will be repaved. And the city’s signature events will be bigger than ever.


In Rancho Mirage– Look forward to new events and returning favorites including the Rancho Mirage Speaker Series with its Legends of Sports Series this month along with the Writers Festival. Rancho Mirage Mayor Pro Tem Steve Downs said, “Wayne Gretzky is our first speaker followed by Emmit Smith, and Sugar Ray Leonard, so we’ve got a great lineup.” 

The PGA Champions Tour kicks off in March with the newly arrived Galleri Classic at Mission Hills Country Club. And Sensei Porcupine Creek, the new six-star wellness retreat owned by Larry Elison will be welcoming guests from around the world. Cotino, the Story Living by Disney Community will also continue to take shape.


In Palm Desert, the focus is on growth in education, housing, and public amenities. $79 million state dollars are earmarked for the CSUSB Palm Desert campus. Nearly 4,000 homes are currently in the development pipeline including more than 800 affordable housing units. Also a new regional park in North Palm Desert.


Indian Wells is excited about a number of completed, ongoing, and future infrastructure initiatives, energy efficiency projects, and an all-hours city golf driving range. Also planned is a new Sprouts Farmers Market and Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa in late 2023, and a new resort-style development at Highway 111 and Miles Avenue.

Chris Freeland, Indian Wells City Manager said, “New development along there could include affordable housing, but also another hotel project, a short-term rental community like rent-to-stay. And a small retail development as well.”


In La Quinta, the City will be working in the new year to determine what it will take to move utilities underground– and at what cost throughout the City.

Jon McMillen, La Quinta’s City Manager, said, “What we want to do here is look at it, determine the costs, and figure out a 20 to 30-year plan to make it happen.”

It’s also actively pursuing strategic properties for the restoration of existing housing or for affordable housing. With the defeat of Measure A, the City will continue to prohibit new STVR permits, except for homes in exempted areas.


In Indio, residents will see a host of new changes including two large College of the Desert buildings taking shape. A new fire station will be part of a new public safety campus project. And construction will move forward on a new city hall and public library downtown. There’s also $10 million dollars in street paving, a facade improvement program for downtown and Highway 111, and construction of the new John Nobles Memorial Park.


The City of Coachella is tackling housing with the completion of three new single-family communities and new affordable housing options. Also, new park and public services are being offered including Bagdouma Park Improvements and the Library Annex rehab on 7th Street. 


The Coachella Valley Association of Governments says you will notice its CV Sinc in 2023, the synchronization of traffic signal lights along major travel arteries.

Executive Director Tom Kirk said, “It better mean that driving from one end of the valley to the other should take a lot less time.”

Highway 111, Washington Street, and Ramon Road corridors should go live in March with 21 other corridors to follow– all monitored and signals synchronized by computers in a new centralized regional traffic center. The same effort to better manage the flow of traffic was tried in the early 2000s, but control of signal lights was left to individual cities. A lack of coordination hobbled the system's ability to move traffic smoother throughout the valley. Ramon Road, Washington Street, and Highway 111 infrastructure is already in place and was used to keep traffic moving during road closures created by December's Ironman contest in La Quinta.

CVAG also continues to work on the CV Link. Kirk says work will be underway to extend the path in Coachella and work should be completed on a new Palm Springs segment. Supporters say the CV Link is like the Interstate 10 of the Coachella Valley’s biking network. 

Kirk said, "We're connecting that to a lot of other places. Much like Interstate 10 has off-ramps and on-ramps, so does CV Link. And those off-ramps and on-ramps are going to connect to other safe routes to get people to school to get people to work or to get back to home." 

The path for bikes, runners, walkers, and people using slow-moving electric vehicles runs from Coachella to Palm Springs. It currently does not involve the communities of Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells which have both opted out of the program.

The CV Link’s Arts and Music line is the next extension away from the main line and has just won $36 million dollars to build from Coachella into Indio and La Quinta with branches to the Empire Polo Grounds where Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals are held. 

Kirk says he expects to see large state grants to be won this year which would extend the CV Link into Desert Hot Springs. 

CVAG is expected to continue supporting its Housing First initiative which places people who are living on the streets into temporary apartment living arrangements while addressing the issues which have left them unable to find permanent housing. The program has proven successful in placing some people into permanent housing, but acknowledges the high financial cost and that not all participants succeed, with some returning to the streets. Kirk said one problem they’re encountering is not enough available housing to place people into once they complete the program successfully.

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Jeff Stahl

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