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Looking ahead: We went city-by-city throughout the desert. Here’s what’s expected in Coachella Valley in 2024

Looking Ahead Online Extended: See what's happening around the Coachella Valley in 2024

Many new developments, changes, and events are set to make the new year 2024 very special around the Coachella Valley.

News Channel 3's Jeff Stahl contacted every city around the Coachella Valley to find out what we should look forward to, or want to know about in this new year ahead. 

Full coverage here of 2023: The Year in Coachella Valley

The City of Coachella is working on park improvements, planting 350 shade trees, and the development of more housing for people of all income levels including the Covalda Apartments and Pueblo Viejo Villas off 6th Street.

Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez said, "We got an affordable housing project behind us as a new Senior Center Project. Down the road. We have market-rate housing that's coming in with working with Pulte as well as DR Horton. So we're seeing a lot of housing come into Coachella." 

ONLINE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: We asked the city for a statement of items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

1/ "Health and Wellness / Green Spaces - The City will convert Bagdouma Community Center into a Wellness Hub that will feature a demonstration kitchen, a welcome desk, and other interior improvements such as new flooring and other renovations.  In addition, several of the City’s parks will be rehabilitated with additional amenities such as a splash pad, an outdoor fitness court, new playground equipment (including an inclusive swing set), shade structures, and bottle refill stations. Hundreds of trees will also be planted strategically throughout the community to expand upon the City’s urban forest to help moderate temperatures and encourage outdoor recreation. 

2/ Workforce Development and Economic Opportunities – The City will be working with various community partners in creating career pathways in high-paying and climate-resilient industries that are in demand. The goal is to help students gain skill Construction, HVAC Technician + Green Technology, Electrician, Solar, Urban Forestry/Urban Greening.

3/ Equitable Housing will be developed to include an affordable housing apartment complex for seniors with commercial storefronts, and a business incubator with a technology center. Free solar panel installations will also be offered to income-qualified single-family homes."

- Risseth Lora

Hernandez said the city is working hard to build new homes for people of all means. Hernandez said, "We have more market-rate homes that are being built on off Avenue 50. We've got new parks that are coming in on that. With the expansion of Las Flores Park, we have 9th Street Park as well, with a lot of trees that are coming in."


In Palm Springs, you can expect more work on improving affordable housing and the construction of the Homeless Navigation Center. The 50-bed Early Entry Facility is expected to open by spring. The full center-- with 80 units of transitional housing -- is set to open in the summer. A city rep says "This will be a huge help in addressing issues with unhoused individuals."

ONLINE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: We asked the city for a statement of items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"The Homeless Navigation Center - The Early Entry portion of the Navigation Center is expected to open in late February or early March. We are planning an opening ceremony for March, a date has not been set yet.The full Navigation Center is expected to open this summer. In the meantime, the City is providing overnight shelter to unhoused residents at the Palm Springs Access Center through the middle of March.

The restoration of the historic Plaza Theatre in downtown Palm Springs is expected to break ground this summer. This much-needed restoration of the historic City-owned theatre has been a long time coming – and is the final component in the Downtown Revitalization Plan. When completed, the newly restored theatre, which is partnering with the Oakview Group to bring in live entertainment, is expected to be a huge economic booster to the City’s economy.

The long-awaited new 150-room Thompson Hotel by Hyatt, on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo, is expected to open for business this winter bringing in more tourism and economic development to the City of Palm Springs.

Also, in Palm Springs International Airport news, PSP is expected to open a host of exciting new concessions this winter. Some of the well-known local names include Trio and Coachella Valley Coffee." - Amy Blaisdell


Indian Wells is focusing on safe roads in 2023. Expect a new turn lane onto Fred Waring in front of Gerald Ford Elementary, and efforts to slow traffic in several neighborhoods. Chris Freeland, Indian Wells City Manager said, "Help calm traffic in those neighborhoods, provide for better pedestrian safety, as well as safety for bicyclists and automobiles are driving around. Fairway, Cook, Rancho Palmeras, and here on Highway 111."

ONLINE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: We asked the city for a statement of items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"Next year one of the main focuses will be city-wide infrastructure improvements. We are excited to open the City’s first park (Fairway Park at Eldorado and Fairway) in Spring 2024. Re-pavement of several streets in the community, including residential neighborhoods and Miles Avenue between Highway 111 and Washington. The City is also investing in traffic and pedestrian improvements at Ford Elementary School on Warner Trail. The City will also continue community outreach on the development of pedestrian-friendly and traffic calming south of Highway 111 along Fairway, Cook, Eldorado, and Ranch Palmares. Finally, the City will be making significant improvements to protect the community from flooding in the Whitewater Channel by repairing damage from Tropical Storm Hillary and stabilizing the slopes along the channel.

Indian Wells is also making its case to be the sports destination of the Coachella Valley. In 2024, the City will host the BNP Paribas Open in March, host the 2024 Epson Tour Golf Championship in October, and co-host Ironman with the City of La Quinta in December. We are also the proud official city sponsor of the Coachella Valley Firebirds." - Chris Freeland, City Manager

Freeland also said, "We're trying to create a foodie destination as well. So what that means is everyone's familiar with the new time Bahama Miramar Hotel is now open. Has this new grapefruit basil restaurant. Hyatt is going to be Hyatt is rebranding itself as part of that rebranding. They're gonna be bringing in a celebrity chef concept as well. And so well as Golf Resort wants to remain competitive. And so the City Council approved Richard Blaze as our celebrity chef, who will be coming in next summer as well. He's there all the time. Now he'll be spending some time here at Indian Wells. But again, this isn't his concept, his food, his design." 


Cathedral City is set to start construction on CV Link connectors and a new park near the Dream Homes Neighborhood-- and repair major street damage caused by Hilary and the heavy equipment used to clear mud and debris. City Manager Charles McClendon said, "So we will be addressing those neighborhood streets and significantly Date Palm Drive up near Vista Chino was really impacted by all of that work." 


McClendon also said, "We received a grant, really about two years ago to build a new park, which will be adjacent to the dream homes neighborhood right by the CV Link. And the Council awarded the construction contract for that at their last meeting. And so shortly after the first of the year, construction will start on that project take most of the year." "We also received grant funding from the state for active transportation grant funding and that will be used to install sidewalks and bike paths along Cathedral Canyon between Dinah Shore and the Cathedral Canyon Bridge." 

"We had some major street damage caused by the tropical storm, a little rain, and all the heavy equipment that had to be on those streets cleaning up the mud. So we will be addressing those to the neighborhood streets and significantly as they drive up near Vista Chino. It was really damaged by all of that work. So we're working with Caltrans right now and the state on funding. We'll probably have to put some local money in there, but we're going to get those addressed, hopefully," McClendon added.


The Coachella Valley Association of Governments is working on addressing air quality concerns following Hilary and the resulting wind storms that kicked up record amounts of dust, which is bad for our lungs. CVAG is working with West Valley agencies to cover any recently disturbed loose sand with mulch and ground cover to keep it in place during our wind storms. Tom Kirk of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments said, "Hopefully they don't notice it, right? This is one of those stories I sure hope isn't a story." 


Kirk added, "All of this work to work to fix the problems. broken roads, bridges, broken homes, and soil stabilization are all eligible for reimbursement. So our agencies, the Caltrans partners, the cities, the county the work they're doing now will get reimbursed may not be quickly reimbursed, but it will be reimbursed. It's a big deal."

Kirk also addressed the Indian Canyon wash bridge project which recently won $50 million in state funding. Kirk said, "We have secured $50 million of state funding, actually state-federal funding to build that project that isn't going away. Sure that million dollars will come to this region. What we're going to what we are seeking is more because that project is certainly going to be twice what could be a $100 million project board depending on wild design and prices at that time. We're looking for more state and federal funding. If we don't get it, we will fund it with local money." He added they're hoping not to have to use local money saying, "Every time we use our local dollars that means that another project doesn't get that money."

Affordable housing is also something CVAG continues to address, especially for those who are currently homeless as housing costs rise. "And one of our challenges right now is for those homeless out there who's homeless clients that are looking for a spot," said Kirk adding, "Oftentimes, we use federal housing vouchers to secure housing units, rental units, and these housing vouchers are supposed to pay for the entire price will rent and they're not keeping up.. and it's something we've got to figure out."


In La Quinta, the City Manager Jon McMillen says the new Dune Palms Bridge is expected to open at the Whitewater Wash in March. And TALUS developer Robert Green continues to shore up "the financing needed to resume construction of the two Montage hotels and residential units and new golf clubhouse." McMillen says, "The clubhouse is to be completed in November 2024," while the "Montage luxury hotel, shared facility, and conference center are now scheduled for completion in March 2025."

ONLINE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: We asked the city for a statement of items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"The lifestyle hotel is scheduled to open in December 2026." "The City of La Quinta will repave its 2-mile stretch of Highway 111, which will entail pulverizing and repaving all lanes. Estimated to cost $8 million, the Highway 111 repaving/rehabilitation project was initially set to be done during summer 2023 but was delayed until 2024 when the City will receive federal funds of $4 million earmarked for the project."

"Dune Palms Road is expected to reopen at the Whitewater Wash in March 2024 when the east side of the $25 million all-weather bridge over the stormwater channel is expected to be completed. Work will then start on the west side of the bridge with full project completion expected in early 2025." - Jon McMillen


Rancho Mirage will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Writers Festival, also the reopening of the Children's Discovery Museum on March 25th. Disney community Cotino approvals continue for a beach club and clubhouse, fitness facility, restaurant, and town center with shops and restaurants. Rancho Mirage Mayor Steve Downs said, "And the sale Center recently opened so the public can visit they can see an overview of a photo. They can get a great idea as to what the community is going to look like, and they can even start to select the home sites that they like."

Mayor Downs said he's pleased with the Cotino development's progress. Downs said, "So at this point of the 1900 Plus dwelling units that will be constructed, single-family residences, as well as condos. There are 514 that are approved. And so those are the first group of homes of course. It's in the north. I guess 1/3 of the subdivision where those 514 are located. So they'll sell those and then at some point when it's when the time is right, they'll come in for approvals on the remaining 1500 or so to be built."

Addressing its water use, Downs noted the Cotino property was originally approved years ago to have a couple of golf courses. "And it is the case that the crystal lagoon will use a fraction of the amount of water that a single golf course will use," Downs added.

Downs also said the development will feature desert-tolerant landscaping adding, "Every home in Cotino will be double piped for water. So they will use recycled water or all of the landscaping water for the irrigation systems. And they of course will use Colorado River water from the aquifer for for water inside your home."

ONLINE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: We asked the city for a statement of other items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"The City has started celebrating its 50th anniversary with a season of celebrations that will last through May 2024. Special collaborations with Koffi, Brandini, and Babe’s BBQ and Brewhouse. A special hardbound commemorative book will be debuted at the 2024 Rancho Mirage Writers Festival and shipped to all Rancho Mirage residents. Multiple events with the 50th theme and branding throughout the City." More info can be found here.

"The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival celebrates 10 years and even though this event is sold out, it also hosts it’s year-round Writers Series that is free to the public." More info and History can be found here.


The City of Palm Desert is excited about a new surf park DSRT Surf, which is expected to break ground early in the year. The city will also look forward, as a partner, to seeing how the mall property develops over the coming year under new ownership with revitalization plans that include new housing with city buy-in. Mayor Karina Quintanilla said, "We are looking at the housing opportunities. So mixed use will have a lot of great benefits not only to families in the area but also for commerce.


Quintanilla also mentioned questions she still has about DSRT Surf saying, "You know, in all honesty, I still have my questions. Other competing projects have water and where they mentioned the evaporation rate... I still have my questions."

We asked the city for a statement of other items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"The Palm Desert Library is in transition from the County to the City." "The library will be briefly closed for renovations in the late spring, after which they’ll notice an enhanced library experience. We’re in the planning stages now and the library team is looking forward to some exciting community programming in addition to the solid service Palm Desert library patrons have come to rely on."

DSRT Surf-- "This project is getting ready to break ground in early 2024."

"The Shops at Palm Desert (Palm Desert Mall) – under new ownership, it will be exciting to see what their plans are for the property. The new mall owners have not made public any plans yet, but there’s an immediate benefit in moving from a caretaker manager to new ownership. The City is excited to see how this property develops over the coming year as the long-term vision becomes clear." - Thomas Soule, City Manager


In Desert Hot Springs, the city says Amazon is expected to start the development of its 600-thousand-plus square foot warehouse off Indian and the freeway. Construction is expected to begin early this year and finish in early 2025 bringing in more than 1,400 jobs. Tropical Storm Hilary Road Repairs are also underway with road reconstruction at Indian Avenue and Mission Lakes, Little Morongo Road, and Dillon Road. The city hopes this work will be done by the end of April.

ONLINE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: We asked the city for a statement of other items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"Amazon is expected to start development of their over 600K sq. ft warehouse off Indian and the I-10 Freeway. Construction is expected to begin after the first of the year and finish in early 2025. This project will bring over 1400 jobs to our City.

Maverick Gas Station will open off Palm Drive and I-10 shortly after the first of the year. This will be the first Maverick Gas Station in California.

Tropical Storm Hilary Road Repairs – Road reconstruction has begun at Indian Ave/Mission Lakes, Little Morongo Road, and Dillon Road, which were destroyed by Tropical Storm Hilary. This work is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.

Lennar Homes at Skyborne – Lennar Homes has recently purchased Village 3 in Skyborne and is starting construction. This will result in over 200 new homes in that development.

Rancho Descanso Development – GHA Companies have started grading and will start construction of over 100 homes after the first of the year.

PODS Warehouse – Located near Indian and the I-10 Freeway, PODS will start construction on their warehouse after the first of the year.

Friday Nights on Pierson – The City kicked off Friday Nights on Pierson to activate the downtown over the summer and this has been wildly successful. We look forward to growing this event in the downtown area over the next year.

Downtown Mural Program – The City recently awarded funds to three different artists to continue to grow the Mural Program in the Downtown

The HUB (Hope, Unite, Build) Access Center – The City opened The HUB, an Access Center for our unhoused Population. This center provides a day center and overnight accommodations for 26 unhoused individuals. We will continue to grow these services in our community." - Doria Wilms, Deputy City Manager


The City of Indio is focused on building a new fire and police station while revitalizing downtown including a College of the Desert expansion, the building of a new 3-story city hall, and more. Indio's Economic Development Manager Miguel Ramirez-Cornejo said, "The City Council has really moved to revitalize and bring back downtown, hearing stories of the good old days of downtown Indio and where it's going now."  


Ramirez Cornejo also discussed the city's new Downtown Ambassador program saying, "We've introduced a downtown Ambassador, and they drive around on the weekends to make people feel safe also to guide people they haven't been to downtown. Maybe this might be the first time coming to downtown. It's like, 'Hey! Where can I get grab a quick bite to eat?' or 'We're looking for we heard about this bar that's open. Where's it at?' And they'll say, 'Hey, come follow me.' They have a golf cart. And they'll take them to a location and it's just another set concierge type of service for someone already. They are already out on Friday, and Saturday nights and as downtown keeps on growing and getting more activated.

We asked the city for a statement of other items people would want to know. Here is the city's response:

"As the City of Indio welcomes the new year, transformative projects will take center stage for our community. These projects emphasize Indio’s commitment to progress, community engagement, and enhancing the lives of all residents.

The new year will witness a rejuvenated and bustling Downtown as a wave of new businesses are set to open their doors, bringing fresh energy and diverse offerings to the community. In the spring, a brand-new stage will take the spotlight, providing an anchor for year-round entertainment, performances, and community events. This state-of-the-art venue promises to be a focal point for creativity, celebrating the rich tapestry of our local arts and cultural scene. Lastly, construction will commence for the new City Hall and Library in the new year. The new Civic Center Campus will not only enhance civic functions but also serve as inviting spaces for learning, collaboration, and civic engagement." 

"Safety for our residents is paramount, and after two years of construction, the opening of a cutting-edge Public Safety Campus is set for Late Spring 2024. The $50 million campus will house the latest technology and resources for our dedicated first responders, ensuring a swift and coordinated response to emergencies for our residents.  The Public Safety Campus consists of three separate buildings totaling approximately 43,000 square feet. Indio Fire Station Number 1, totaling approximately 13,500 square feet; a new dispatch center totaling approximately 7,000 square feet; and a new public safety service building totaling approximately 22,000 square feet."

"Prepare to be captivated by innovative public art initiatives in 2024. Leading the charge is the Desi Memorial Mural Project, a pioneering endeavor that will bring augmented reality (AR) animation to Indio, a first for the Coachella Valley. This fusion of technology and artistic expression promises to create a truly immersive and unforgettable experience, pushing the boundaries of conventional public art. The mural will be painted on the west wall of the Loma Linda Children's Hospital in Downtown Indio, located at 82934 Civic Center Drive, Indio CA 92201. The design concept features Desi Cechin, an Indio girl who passed away in 2016 following a two-year cancer battle. The mural will incorporate Desi’s eye, flowers, family, and butterflies, symbolizing beauty and hope." - Bryan Montgomery, City Manager

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