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Entries in Buying - Info For Buyers

5 Top Reasons To Purchase A Home In The Palm Springs Area

Courtesy of Haley Kieser

The scenic city of Palm Springs is located in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. This gorgeous little city is known for glamorous hotels, resorts, spas and natural hot springs thereby making Palm Springs the perfect destination for tourists and potential residents alike. The city is noted for examples of mid-century modern architecture giving the town a feeling of old-world glamour.

1. Outdoor Recreation

One of the many perks of settling down in Palm Springs is the vast opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you or someone you love is an avid golfer, Palm Springs will without a doubt become near and dear to their heart. If you have not tried the sport, it would be wise to give it a shot after relocating. Golfing would be an excellent hobby to learn given that Palm Springs has been given the high praise of being colloquially known as the “Golf Capital of the World,” and it truly does live up to its nickname. Palm Springs and the surrounding area is home to over 20 lush golf courses, most notably the world-renowned Arnold Palmer Classic Course at SilverRock Resort and the PGA WEST Golf Club & Resort to name a few.

The Palm Springs area offers majestic views of the Santa Rosa Mountains that are downright breathtaking. The mountains can be viewed from the golf course and enjoyed both up close and afar. Hiking trails are found throughout the mountains. It should be heeded that visitors to the mountains should strictly follow their map, and be sure to head back when half of your water is depleted as the mountains are situated in the middle of a dessert. The good news is that due to the climate of the southern Californian Sonoran Desert, both the hiking trails and the golf courses can be enjoyed year-round.

2. Beautiful Weather

Palm Springs is a desert city - the weather gets hot. The best time of the year to enjoy the southern Californian weather would be between January and April when the weather is most hospitable. During the summer months, temperatures will regularly reach triple digits.

Palm Springs is the perfect location for those who like the heat. Moving to Palm Springs not only means embracing the heat, but embracing the wind farms. Wind farms are a fact of life in the desert and are churned all year long. The windy season in Palm Springs is generally the end of the summer leading into fall. On top of clean energy sources, the added breeze will be a nice touch as the summer heat ratchets up.

3. Rich History

Many notable American figures have visited Palm Springs, including Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, and Ronald Reagan. In its early years, Palm Springs attracted more visitors than potential property owners. Following World War II, there was a boom of development. At first, visitors flocked to Palm Springs to enjoy the natural bathhouses and hotels cropping up within the quiet desert town. Soon the quaint town would attract the attention of philanthropists, moguls, and starlets who would eventually settle in the area. It is likely they settled after watching the glittering town be advertised on the silver screen.

The desert was routinely selected as a choice spot for filming silent films and would grow to become an oasis for Hollywood stars outside of film sets. Today, Palm Springs still maintains a sense of old-world glamour wrapped in plenty of modern entertainment options. In fact, one of Palm Springs quintessential historical landmarks, including Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s Sunnylands Estate. Since 2012, the 200-acre estate and historic residence operates as a place of hospitality for international leaders to convene to “promote world peace and facilitate international agreement.” Tours are available for small groups but require a ticket booked in advance.

4. Minimal Traffic

An added bonus that will be felt at every turn, is that there is virtually no traffic in Palm Springs. No more days of sitting in traffic for 2-hours for a commute that should, in theory, should take only 20 minutes. City dwellers throughout the country understand the plague of heavy, bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic. Moving to Palm Springs means making traffic a woe of the past. A drive to the grocery store will be just that, without the need for planning added time to consider for traffic and delays. Even during the busiest times of the year, traffic will always be minimal. The average commute time is about 22 minutes, which is lower than the national average.

5. Affordable Living

Compared to huge metropolitan areas like San Francisco or New York, the smaller city of Palm Springs can offer a much cheaper alternative for housing prices without any void of things to do. Although California tends to be expensive as a whole, the Palm Springs area tends to be comparatively cheaper. The median price for a single-family home in Palm Springs is about $300,000, which is subject to change year over year. With the added pocket change, this allows for greater flexibility for leisure around the town and the ability to enjoy the city’s boutiques and fine dining nestled along Palm Canyon Drive.

Summer Tips for Maintaining Your Desert Home

For Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

Watch this one minute video on how to keep your home healthy and maintained during the summer months in the desert.

New Hotel Complex in Development for Indian Wells

A new hotel development that marries homes, condos and conventional hotel rooms is planned for Indian Wells.

Developers announced a proposal to build roughly 300 units – in the form of multi-bedroom villas as well as hotel rooms – in a project aimed at attracting multi-generational travelers who are looking for the space and privacy offered by a short-term rental with the careful standards seen in hotels.

The project, located near the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, is also planning the development of 60 to 80 condos, which can be managed by the hotel as vacation rentals.

“When we look at the way people are traveling, when we look at the evolution of the travel space, when we look at the rise of multi-generational travel, we think we’re on the cusp of another change in hospitality,” Phil Bates, a partner with TMC Group, a real estate development firm from Irvine, told residents in Indian Wells on Tuesday.

RELATED HOTEL DEVELOPMENT COVERAGE: Montage breaks ground on luxury resort in La Quinta

 An architect's rendering of a new development planned for the corner of Highway 111 and Miles Avenue in Indian Wells. The project would build roughly 300 hotel rooms, along with condos and villas. (Photo: Submitted photo: TMC Group)

An architect's rendering of a new development planned for the corner of Highway 111 and Miles Avenue in Indian Wells. The project would build roughly 300 hotel rooms, along with condos and villas. (Photo: Submitted photo: TMC Group)

TMC Group officials, along with representatives from Fogelson Group, a Chicago-based real estate development firm, held a community meeting Tuesday at the Indian Wells Golf Resort to unveil the plans for the development proposed for the corner of Highway 111 and Miles Avenue near the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The project would occupy about 10 acres.

The development team anticipates construction beginning early next year, with completion in 2019 or 2020.

The hotel building with its 300 rooms could be up to 85 feet tall, and is proposed for the back of the site away from Highway 111. Its height was of a concern to some of the roughly 100 residents attending the forum Tuesday.

HISTORY: First airport in Palm Springs was built for El Mirador Hotel guests

“I have a problem with 85 feet,” remarked Andy Elchuck, who lives nearby.

When asked about views of Eisenhower Mountain and other areas, Bates said, “some will be compromised.”

Development plans for the site go back more than a decade when the Fogelson Group proposed building 129 residences and villas. The Fogelson Group is headed by Jerry Fogelson, well-known for his local philanthropy and generous contributions to the Palm Springs Art Museum. He also serves on the board for the Desert Town Hall speaker series.

The property's future was put into question again in 2014 when Phoenix developer Denny Ryerson was unable to finalize an agreement with YAM Capital that would have provided the money he needed to buy out Fogelson and meet critical deadlines connected to his proposed condo development in Indian Wells.

READ MORE: Jerry Fogelson's Indian Wells project faded over decade

The project announcement comes as officials in La Quinta broke ground Monday at SilverRock, marking the start of development on a luxury resort that brings the Montage brand to the Coachella Valley. The project includes two luxury hotels which are scheduled to open simultaneously in October 2019.

Skip Descant is The Desert Sun’s tourism reporter. He can be reached at edescantjr@palmspri.gannett.com and @TDSskip

New Construction on Luxury Resort at SilverRock in La Quinta

 La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans breaks ground with Montage International and Pendry Hotels developers for La Quinta's Silverrock Resort development project, Monday, May 1, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun

La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans breaks ground with Montage International and Pendry Hotels developers for La Quinta's Silverrock Resort development project, Monday, May 1, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun

La Quinta crossed a milestone more than 15 years in the making Monday morning with a groundbreaking ceremony at SilverRock, marking the start of development on a luxury resort that brings the Montage brand to the Coachella Valley.

More than 100 people sat along the 18th fairway of the existing golf course, which will remain part of the resort,  – a prime view of the Santa Rosa Mountains before them – for the ceremony, including city staff, all current council members and former members Terry Henderson and Lee Osborne, as well as past Mayor Don Adolph.

“I am over the top excited to have today happen,” Mayor Linda Evans said.

The groundbreaking marks a major step forward in the development of a project that has seen years of delays, due to the Great Recession followed by loss of redevelopment funds and the need to bring in a new developer, which the council did in November 2014 with approval of a contract with The Robert Green Co.

The project includes two luxury hotels which are scheduled to open simultaneously in October 2019.

READ MORE: Montage ties name to resort

With the groundbreaking comes the closure of the back nine holes of the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course to begin realignment of three holes to make room for the Montage La Quinta 140-room “five-star” quality hotel.

The second hotel is a 200-room Pendry – Montage’s newest brand.

“It’s the first opportunity to build a Montage and a Pendry side-by-side and it took a very unique location … to do that,” said Alan Fuerstman, Montage founder, chairman and CEO.

“But the appeal of this market and this destination for both brands is so strong, it was a logical conclusion” to bring both, said Fuerstman, whose hospitality career started in Rancho Mirage.

Pendry is a new brand for the Irvine-based Montage International with just two other hotels open – in San Diego and Baltimore.

Fuerstman's son, Michael, heads the Pendry brand, and described it as “ultra-luxury” for the younger, active but well-traveled customer.

 Construction will begin from this site for La Quinta's Silverrock Resort development project, Monday, May 1, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)

Construction will begin from this site for La Quinta's Silverrock Resort development project, Monday, May 1, 2017. (Photo: Zoe Meyers/The Desert Sun)

The golf course realignment will start soon, said John Gamlin, of La Quinta, who has been with the project since the beginning and will be the local face for Green throughout development. 

The improvements must be completed and the course fully reopened by Nov. 1, according to the agreement with the city. The front nine holes will remain open throughout the realignment.

The mass grading for the hotels, conference center and other amenities is expected to start in the fall, followed by the building of the infrastructure, Gamlin said.

GETTING OUT: La Quinta getting out of golf business

The city’s redevelopment agency purchased the then-vacant SilverRock land in 2002 with a vision for a luxury resort with hotels, two 18-hole golf courses and more. The existing golf course opened in 2005.

La Quinta views the development as a major source of revenue that will help secure the city’s financial future, through hotel, property and sales taxes. The city has projected revenue from SilverRock will be well above $50 million in the first 15 years, even with a bed tax sharing agreement with the developer. To date, the city has seen about $40,000 developer impact fees.

Rosemary Genovese, mother of the late Tom Genovese, who was city manager when SilverRock was conceived, was also present. Genovese died while hiking in 2011.

“I think it’s going to be beautiful,” she said. “Very different from the original but … I think it will be a wonderful project for our city. I just wish Tom and Arnie (Palmer) could have been here.”

Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas covers the cities of La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. She can be reached at sherry.barkas@thedesertsun.com or (760) 778-4694. Follow her on Twitter @TDSsherry