The Indio City Council is set to vote on amending the zoning for a proposal that would bring a brand new commercial center to a vacant lot on Jackson Street and Avenue 42. It's being called the "Indio Greens" development project.
During its November 1st meeting, the council unanimously agreed to trade neighboring land parcels between both the city and a developer known as Can Do LLC. One parcel will be developed for the fast-food hub while the other will remain and open space near the Indio Municipal Golf Course. Right now, the undeveloped lot behind an ARCO and an Auto Zone sits empty, a for sale sign withered and weathered.
The entire center would take up 6.12-acres, and would also consist of three fast food restaurants and one sit-down eatery. The eatery would overlook the nearby Indio Municipal Golf Course. So far, both Dutch Bros Coffee and Chick-fil-A have signed on and agreed to fill two of the vacant spaces.
According to a city report, the Chick-Fil-A and Dutch Bros would be located along Avenue 42 while a third fast food restaurant would face Jackson Street on the northwest side. The new location would mark the third franchise for both Chick-fil-A and Dutch Bros in the Coachella Valley.
Several customers believe the new restaurants will be good for both the city and locals.
“I feel good. Like, I'm excited because I live over there. So I'm kind of like, oh, it's about time," said Jade Mascareno. "It makes it drive easier. I mean, this is like 20 to 25 minutes away from where I live. So if it's over there, it's gonna be like five minutes tops. So much easier. More convenient, it's nice. I'm excited.”
Another local who frequents Dutch Bros agrees.
“I'm like, excited. I'm really excited because I'm from North Indio. So I mean, it'll be easier to drive over there instead of driving all over here," said Anais Benitez.
We spoke with managers from both restaurants who claim the new franchises will bring both convenience and financial opportunities for workers in the valley.
“You know, us, the crew here, get to move up in the company and get to have more opportunities to grow. So maybe some of the people here will be going over there and moving up," said Everett Ridenour, a "Broista" or shift lead at Dutch Bros Coffee.
The owner and operator of the lone-standing Chick-fil-A in Palm Desert is looking forward to better serving the Coachella Valley.
"Chick-fil-A is all about community engagement and so anytime we have the ability to open a restaurant with that's within a five to ten minute drive time, it just allows us to be closer to our guests and really serve the community better. It' just a great opportunity for everyone," remarked David Peck.
In a statement sent to KESQ, the City of Indio added its excitement for the new development, saying the area is ripe for expansion.
"The Greens at Indio, a new development brought forth by Can Do LLC, is an exciting, new project in the City of Indio, contributing to the increasing economic success of the city. A few of the tenants have been identified by the developer, including Chick-fil-A and Dutch Bros Coffee, both very popular institutions and will be the first locations in North Indio. The residential growth North Indio has seen over the last five years has become very appealing to retailers looking to expand their footprint in the Coachella Valley and we are proud to see them choosing the City of Indio."- Statement from Carl S. Morgan, Economic Development Director for the City of Indio.
The public hearing along with a vote on the zoning amendment will take place during Wednesday's City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. in Indio. If approved, construction could begin as early as January with a completion date in the Fall.