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What’s Developing Within Economic Development

A lot has gone on within the Economic Development Department since our last update! It is this activity, energy, and diversity of activities which makes our department an exciting place to work. Below is a brief update on several important initiatives:

1. HOUSING, HOUSING, AND MORE HOUSING!: GHA Communities’ District at the Edge has successfully sold! With such strong demand and positive customer feedback, GHA is already coming out of the ground with their District East project. I just heard one of the homes within District East just resold for $850,000! DR Horton, America’s largest home builder, just closed escrow on approximately 100 lots within the Verano Masterplan located in North Cathedral City. DR Horton will be bringing their national expertise to building well-design homes at affordable prices in a community with a refreshing new-urbanism land plan. Another great addition to our community will be provided by the Rilington Group. Voted 2006 Coachella Valley Builder of the Year Mickie Riley and his team will bring experience, passion, and a commitment to crafting thoughtfully designed and well-built homes within the Rio Del Sol community.

2. CONTINUALLY UPDATED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WEBSITE: Stay abreast of the latest events, learn about our great City, and find important development facts by visiting and bookmarking

3. AGUA CALIENTE DOWNTOWN CATHEDRAL CITY CASINO: The casino is still on track! The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians are still working their way through the fee simple to tribal trust application process. The Tribe believes they will complete this Federal process in the early to mid-part of 2019. The current site plan still contemplates a 60,000 square foot casino consisting of 500 slot machines in 40,000 square feet of gaming space; 5,000 square feet of restaurant space; and 2,500 square feet of retail space. Given the Tribe’s success in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage with two luxury destination-style casino resorts, we know the Tribe will deliver another first-class development!

4. BOB HOPE CROSSING: The developer is hoping to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first few commercial pads before the end of the year. This 9-acre property will offer travelers a variety of services including a 100+ room Best Western Plus hotel, AM/PM gas station, Starbucks, McDonalds, and several high-quality quick-serve restaurants. This project will be a great way to welcome visitors into our City and generate much needed revenue.

5. SUNNIVA: Construction on the Sunniva project is well under way! This $54m project is located on the south side of Ramon Road east of Date Palm Drive will be approximately 500,000 square feet at build out and provide 175 to 200 well paying full-time jobs.

6. HIRE LOCAL PROGRAM: Leisa Lukes continues working closely with City Council to implement a “Hire Local” program. This program promotes major new businesses to offer all jobs to Cathedral City residents first, before opening the same opportunities to the rest of the Valley. The City and the Council are working hard to not only attract new businesses, but ensure our residents are given first opportunity to land that great new position.

7. DOWNTOWN CATHEDRAL CITY: Truly exciting things are happening in Downtown Cathedral City. Recent or pending developments within Downtown include: (i) the casino planning process is underway; (ii) ground breaking will occur in early 2019 on the nearly $4m downtown amphitheater (located adjacent the parking structure); (iii) CV Rep Theater is selling tickets for their first performance in their new theater! “Chess” is scheduled to open on March 13, 2019. You can learn more and buy tickets by clicking here.

8. CVEP, SBA, & CATHEDRAL CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP: The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (“CVEP”) and the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) have partnered to provide free monthly bilingual workshops on a variety of business and professional development related topics. A class is being held tonight at 6pm at the Palm Springs Motors dealership. Times, dates, and program topics are available on our new Economic Development website ( Be sure to check the City’s economic development website, CVEP’s (, and SBA’s ( website for other valuable and free or low-cost services.

In future communications, we will keep you abreast of new real estate developments, resources, and other opportunities that will improve the City’s quality of life, property values, and economic activity. All Cathedral City residents can help accelerate our economic development by making a commitment to “buy local” whenever possible and encouraging out-of-town guests to stay in one of our several hotels. It makes economic “cents” for you to keep your tax dollars within the City and help fund local community services and programs. Further, there is no better testimonial for attracting future new businesses than to make sure that our existing businesses are prosperous examples for other potentially interested enterprises to follow.

Also, making a special effort to properly maintain your own properties (whether residential or commercial) shows pride in our community. This is another important “selling point” when prospective businesses, commercial real estate agents, and developers tour our City scouting out future business opportunities.

Please share with your friends and contacts the City’s dedicated website which highlights many of our community attributes. As a team, we all play a part in the long-term success of the place in which we love to live, work, play and stay!

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Police Chief and Business Roundtable

Police Chief Travis Walker conducted a roundtable discussion with Cathedral City business leaders on September 25th.  This first-time event hosted by the City’s Police and Economic Development Departments was held at IHOP Restaurant on Date Palm Drive and Dinah Shore Drive.  Local business owners were invited to meet with Chief Walker to discuss the important relationship between the Police Department and our business community.  Cathedral City Councilman Mark Carnevale and Indio Councilman Glenn Miller attended along with representative from the Cathedral City Post Office, Mission Plaza, First Alarm, and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Chief Walker provided a well-received overview of police responsibilities, ongoing activities, and changes in state law.  Questions from the attendees covered a variety of business-focused topics and they received helpful tips for reporting and preventing criminal activity.

Stay tuned. . .additional events will be scheduled at various times and locations on a quarterly basis during the upcoming year.


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Cathedral City Council Dedicates September 21st as “Flip the Switch Day” at the Mary Pickford Theatre

Mayor Stan Henry presented a proclamation to the Mary Pickford Theatre team including Owner Michael Tumanjan, D’Place Entertainment President Damon Rubio, and General Manager Ted Hane for their work on bringing solar power and energy battery storage technology to the theatre.  The first-of-its-kind mass production power source for a theatre in the state of California and possibly the nation, the Mary Pickford Theatre now generates nearly 100% of the power it uses through solar panels and captures the excess energy from the panels to power the theatre after sunset.  All City Councilmembers were present to dedicate September 21, 2018 as the “Flip the Switch Day” towards green power at the Mary Pickford Theatre.

Not only is the system saving the theatre more than $100,000 per year on its electrical costs, but it also lowers its carbon footprint by not utilizing fossil fuels for its energy needs that can lead to air pollution and climate change.   You can now enjoy “solar powered popcorn” as Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia stated at the beginning of his speech at the event.

To learn more about this impressive technology and what the theatre has achieved, CCTV Host Conrad Angel Corral sits down in this video with Aeterna Energy President Ron Harris and D’Place Entertainment President Damon Rubio to discuss this green power venture at the Mary Pickford Theatre, here in Cathedral City.

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Cathedral City Is on the Path to Victory

On Friday, Mayor Stan Henry gave an update on the progress being made in Cathedral City at the Council of Women Realtors’ Luncheon.  His message highlighted the improvements implemented over the past four years including:

  • Over $100,000,000 invested in public infrastructure projects that includes the Date Palm Bridge Widening and Seismic Project, the new Cathedral Canyon Bridge soon to begin construction later this year, the Ramon Road Bridge to begin construction in 2019, and street repaving on our major arteries and neighborhood streets.
  • Developing our Downtown into an Arts and Entertainment District that includes LIVE performing arts with the CVRep Theatre now under construction, the refurbishing of the Mary Pickford Theatre, the approval of the new Downtown Amphitheater Park, and the new Agua Caliente Casino coming to the corner of Date Palm Drive and East Palm Canyon Drive (HWY 111).
  • Capitalizing on the emerging cannabis industry approved by the voters of California and twice by Cathedral City residents through regulation that limit the zones for operation; taxing the growing, manufacturing and selling of cannabis in order to generate revenue for the City to expand public safety services to full staffing levels; and to provide good paying jobs and good employee benefits for our residents in addition to a product that is increasingly being recognized for helping those with certain medical conditions.
  • Implemented four major festivals and numerous smaller events that enhance the quality of life for residents and increase our presence in the tourism industry. These events have brought life to our downtown and renewed interest by private developers for restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments.
  • Cathedral City Auto Center has grown over the past four years with new sales and service centers, new dealerships, and expanded dealerships.
  • Housing construction and resells have flourished with a 10% price increase in the last year. The District sold out its first phase of its housing development and has begun constructing District East, a similar portfolio to The District.  Rio del Sol housing development that has remained idle for over a decade will soon begin its construction of over 200 new homes.
  • As consumers change their shopping patterns with the convenience of online shopping and home delivery, Cathedral City has done a great job repurposing former big box stores into fitness clubs, smaller retail businesses, and a new luxury automobile storage facility.

With all the new development, Cathedral City hit an extremely low 2.7% unemployment rate in April according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  As Mayor Stan Henry stated on Friday, “Cathedral City is on the path to victory!”

“The Works Floor and Wall” Returns to Cathedral City

After nearly seven years away, “The Works Floor and Wall” has left Palm Springs and returned to Cathedral City opening a beautiful and expansive 7,500 square-foot luxury showroom in the Cathedral City Gateway Plaza Shopping Center at 69048 E. Palm Canyon Drive (corner of Date Palm Drive and HWY 111).

With one of the most expansive libraries of flooring, counter tops, and tile, this one store is a location not to be missed for your home design needs.  “The Works Floor and Wall” has made selecting your designs so simple by implementing their own technology that allows the consumer to scan and find out all the details about their products.  In fact, their system allows you to pick any wall tile design with multiple colors and take just one color from it to create flooring and/or counter tops that match.  Best of all, you can do it all from your own smartphone or Ipad.

Check out this video with CCTV Host Conrad Angel Corral to learn more as we focus on this new, but returning business…

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Business Walk

Business Walks Coming Your Way. . .

Business WalkIf you haven’t already, you may soon get a friendly and informative visit by the City’s Business Development Manager, Leisa Lukes, and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Account Executive for Cathedral City, Kimberly Krause.  The City Economic Development Department and the Chamber of Commerce are two separate entities that are working in partnership to support local business.  Leisa and Kimberly are traversing the City visiting businesses like yours as part of the City’s outreach to our Business Community.

In addition to sharing with you our appreciation for selecting Cathedral City for your business, these visits enable you to meet City and Chamber staff to ask questions and share information about the local business climate.   This also provides another opportunity for the City and the Chamber to share news that may directly affect your business.  Have a question for the City?  Ask Leisa when you see her or contact her at (760) 770-0386 /

Recently, business walks were conducted along the Dinah Shore corridor.  As you may have experienced, Dinah Shore Drive is being reconstructed from Date Palm Drive to the bridge entering Palm Springs.  While traffic flow is slowed during construction activities, the businesses acknowledged that, when finished, the result will benefit both local business and cross-town travel.  All American Asphalt is performing the roadwork that is funded by the Gas Tax (SB1), previous gas tax dollars, Measure A and Assessment District 86-1 monies.  The project is scheduled to be complete by mid-October.

During the walks, Kimberly provides information on one of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce’s key programs — the “CC Shop Local” campaign.  The program is targeted at both locals and visitors to think “Cathedral City” first when doing business.  It provides for licensed businesses located within Cathedral City to be included on a master website by category.  Once a business is selected, the site will then take the viewer directly to that business’ website for specifics about the business.   This program should be fully operational by the fall.

The Chamber offers a variety of networking opportunities and business seminars, as well as other business benefits.  Ask Kimberly when you see her or contact her at (760) 898-8604 /

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What’s Developing Within Economic Development

A Message from Stone James, Director

Would you like to make your life more interesting and more rewarding? Are you interested in making society a better place? If so, education is our community’s best opportunity to change everything from the quality of our roads and parks; to increasing individual household incomes; and to literally improving the quality, safety, and stability of our children’s childhoods 1 – 4.

Incredible things can happen when people slow down, think about where they are, and think about where they’d like to be. When they envision the life they want to live, a life they are capable of living, and a life that, if they take those first critical steps and continue taking those steps, incredible things will result. Along the way, those who reach for more will experience new adventures, conquer new challenges, and find out they are more capable than they ever imagined. Those who set goals, and work to stretch their potential, will live more enriching lives and will make society a better place 5.

After envisioning where you want to be, setting goals, and identifying next steps; the first step for many is furthering their education. Education can take many forms. For some, a class or a series of classes on how to start a business, the basics of internet marketing, or a tune-up on a previous skill set are all that are needed to move forward. For others, a certificate program can yield big improvements in their career path, job satisfaction, and income levels. For many, a four-year degree or graduate degree(s) must be earned in order have the professional or societal impact(s) they envision.

Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, educational opportunities within the Coachella Valley abound. These opportunities are accessible, affordable, and attainable. Below are links to various educational resources you can immediately begin taking advantage of. Here are a few:

  1. : Cathedral City’s Economic Development website listings a number of free or low cost classes offered by some of the Valley’s best organizations such as SBA, CVEP, SBDC, SCORE, Women’s Business Center, GCVCC, and DBA.
  2. College of the Desert: College of the Desert (COD) won a 2018 Bellwether Award 6 for its innovative EDGE (Engage, Develop, Grow, Empower) Program. The Valley is fortunate to have this top-rated California Community College with multiple campuses. COD offers nearly 100 different certificates or Associate degrees.
  3. University of California Riverside: “UCR ranks among the top 25 comprehensive research universities in the nation (Washington Monthly, 2017) and was included in the (August 2018) edition of The Princeton Review’s “The Best 382 Colleges.” (Source)
  4. California State University San Bernardino: Money magazine has listed Cal State San Bernardino 67th in the nation’s top 727 colleges and universities in its annual Best Colleges for Your Money rankings. Money also listed CSUSB among the 50 Best Public Colleges (42) and Best Colleges Where More Than Half of Applicants Get In (18). (Source)
  5. Brandman University: Brandman offers one of the highest graduation rates of any university of its kind, and 9 out of 10 of our students would recommend it to their friends. (Source)
  6. University of Redlands: With a 100 year history, and a 13-to-1 student to faculty ratio, this Division III school offers other points of distinction to include: “Top 7% of four-year colleges, ranked by alumni earning above expectations” (The Economist); “Top 25% of America’s Top Colleges” (Forbes); and “Ranked #20 for “Lots of Race/Class Interaction.” (Princeton Review) (Source).

The Cathedral City Economic Development Department would also like to provide special thanks to the generosity of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, Natalie Orta at the Small Business Administration, and Scott Simmers at Palm Springs Motors. The City, along with these great organizations, is continuing to host free monthly bilingual workshops on a variety of business and professional development topics. The classes are held at the Palm Springs Motors dealership on the second Thursday of each month. Times, dates, and program topics, in addition to recordings of previous classes, are available on the Cathedral City Economic Development website ( Be sure to check CVEP’s (, SBA’s ( website for other valuable and free or low-cost services.


  1. Frasquilho, D., de Matos, M. G., Marques, A., Neville, F. G., Gaspar, T., & Caldas-de-almeida, ,J.M. (2016). Unemployment, parental distress and youth emotional well-being: The moderation roles of parent-youth relationship and financial deprivation. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 47(5), 751-758.
  1. Reinhardt Pedersen, C., Madsen, M., & Köhler, L. (2005). Does financial strain explain the association between children’s morbidity and parental non-employment? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59(4), 316-321.
  1. Dooley, D., Prause, J., & Ham-Rowbottom, K. (2000). Underemployment and depression: Longitudinal relationships. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 41(4), 421-36.
  1. Friedland, D. S., & Price, R. H. (2003). Underemployment: Consequences for the health and well-being of workers. American Journal of Community Psychology, 32(1), 33-45.
  1. The Bellwhether Award: “In more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide, this is one of the highest honors an institution can receive. The awards are similar to being selected by your peers, comparable to the Oscar or Emmy Award,” said Dale F. Campbell, Professor and Director of the University of Florida’s Institute of Higher Education.
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City Achieving Goals Set by the City Council

On January 27, 2018, the City Council held a Planning and Goal Setting Workshop to establish objectives for 2018. It is the council’s philosophy to clearly establish goals and priorities in order to effectively implement those goals by City staff. Many of the goals identified by the City Council can be achieved with existing resources; however, in cases where additional resources are required, the need was addressed through the budget development for this fiscal year.

On July 11, 2018, City Manager Charles McClendon provided an update to the City Council on the progress staff has made on the established Goals for 2018. Below is a hyperlink to the Goals with what has been completed or in progress identified in red:

Beyond Balisage Restaurant – New “Earth to Table” Cuisine in Cathedral City – CCCTV Video

CCTV Host Conrad Angel Corral interviews Chef Daniel Villanueva of Cathedral City’s new “Earth to Table” restaurant, called Beyond Balisage.  Get an inside look at this unique restaurant that will delight the most discerning palate and satisfy your organic principles.  Located at 68-327 E. Palm Canyon (HWY 111) and just doors down from Revivals, Chef Villanueva offers signature, locally grown dishes, meze menu, private dinner parties, catering, cooking classes and menu planning for home.

What is menu planning for home?  You sit down with the chef and determine your dietary needs and likes, and he makes take-home culinary meals for you on a regular basis.  You come to the restaurant and he hands you covered gourmet dishes for the week.  Who wouldn’t want a chef-prepared dinner three or four times a week?  All you have to do is re-heat the masterpiece at home in a glass dish!

Learn more by watching this video, or better yet, stop by and enjoy this culinary masterpiece, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5 pm to 10 pm.

For more information, or to make a reservation, go to:

New “Digital Marketing and Social Media” Video Available for Small Business Owners

Small business owners can learn the ins and outs of utilizing digital marketing and social media to promote their company and its products and/or services thanks to the efforts by the Cathedral City Economic Development Department and the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.  This educational video provides you with the latest marketing trends on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and more.  Two marketing experts, Andrew McCauley and Alvaro Sandoval, offer their best advice and knowledge to getting an upper hand on the competition.  Best of all, the seminar is free.

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