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June 17th, 2015

The Coachella Valley is heating up for investment. The Southern California Association of Govern­ments (SCAG) undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives on behalf of the region. Specifical­ly the Coachella Valley Association of Govern­ments (CVAG) has predict­ed a population growth to 604,000 permanent residences by 2020. This would constitute an in­crease in the population of permanent residenc­es by a staggering 27% in a mere 4.5 years (www.scag.ca.gov/documents/riversidecvag.pdf). View the (CVAG) web site at (www.cvag.org) to obtain the facts on the CV/Link that is a project that would con­nect all cities in the Valley with a safe and continuous pathway system. This proj­ect is projected to have an economic benefit to the Valley estimated at $1.47 billion.

Gentlemen like Mr. Larry Ellison, who is one of the richest men in the world, ob­viously is renowned for his ability to spot market trends and get in early. Mr. Ellison has staked a large position in the Coachella Valley by way of his purchase of the BNP Paribas open in 2010, and has since built a second st­adium next to the existing one. This purchase has earned him the title of owning one of the top tennis tournaments in the world. Mr. Ellison found­ed the software giant Oracle in 1977. If you would have asked him then, if he thought that he would end up owning a tennis tournament that had just moved to the Coachella Valley a year prior in 1976, who knows what his answer would have been. Mr. Ellison preceded this investment in the Valley by purchasing a 249-acre golf estate, which recently hosted President Barak Obama on his estate’s private golf course.

When “common investors” were asked where they invest a typical answer was “where they have identified large money investment being made by billionaires, who have the uncanny ability to spot trends early”.

In the Coachella Valley as a whole, not many signifi­cant projects have been con­structed in the past 20 years that could have enhanced amenities and hospitality opportunities for visitors. However, over this 20-year period what has happened is, world-class venues / events have been developed and have achieved massive growth. Beyond the tennis, the Valley boasts many other world class venues / events. The Coachella Music Festi­val and Stagecoach which hosts several hundred thou­sand guests each year, who come out to see some of the biggest music artist on the planet. Additionally, there is the famous Bob Hope Clas­sic annual golf tournament (renamed the Humana Chal­lenge) that was sponsored by the Clinton foundation this year. The Valley is also home to world class equestrian show jumping events and is known for one of the richest Grand Prix’s in horse jumping. There are 6 world renowned golf courses know as PGA West that have gained enor­mous notoriety (located in La Quinta). Other major events / venues include BMW’s test track (car racing), Palm Springs International Film Festival, Fashion Week El Paseo, and the Empire and Eldorado Polo Grounds host­ing enthusiasts who frequent from all around the world. This is just a handful of the events and functions that happen each year. The Palm Springs airport is expanding to accommodate the demand.

The Palm Springs walk of the stars has been dedicated to the many Hollywood Stars who lived, loved and played in this beautiful oasis called Palm Springs. It is common to see famous celebrities blending with the tourists and locals. As only one of many indicators that the Valley is attracting a younger clientele, Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased an estate home in Palm Springs.

The 3 main summer months in the Valley (June – August) are growing in popularity not only because of the pool par­ties and other events that are hosted at places like the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, but also because of the outstand­ing accommodation packag­es that are available. Hey, who said you need to spend a fortune to visit an oasis and work on your tan? In the sun, or out of the sun, there is something for everyone in the summer months. With conve­nience of travel to the Valley and the great prices, sum­mers in the Coachella Valley are more popular than ever.

As the Valley consists of 9 adjoining cities, the one city that is now taking the lead on revitalizing the entire Valley is Palm Springs. In addition to the new hotels under con­struction, Mr. John Wessman, who has been a developer in the area for 40 years is one of the largest local developers, and is now under construc­tion with a dynamic project in downtown Palm Springs. The most important part of Mr. Wessman’s, 14 acre devel­opment, as related to tourism, is the addition of thousands of square feet of shopping and restaurants. Many are saying that this development reminds them of “The Grove” shopping and entertainment district in Los Angeles.

In Palm Desert, the El Paseo shopping destination is usually referred to as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert”. El Paseo hosts stores such as Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama’s and the Apple Store. With this ad­dition of Wessman’s trendy, hip, shopping area, which is presently under construction, this is great for the Valley as a whole. Others that have re­cently opened and are popu­lar in the Valley are Mastro’s Restaurant, Whole Foods Market and Nordstom Rack. The Ritz-Carlton just opened its doors in Rancho Mirage in May, 2014 and now a 6 star, $100 million dollar develop­ment has just been approved that is located at the base of the mountain, in which the Ritz Carlton is situated.

Actor / Economist Mr. Ben Stein presented a compelling speech at the economic summit held in Rancho Mirage on March 27, 2015. He told the crowd that hospitality and health related projects will lead the way in commercial development in the Valley. He also mentioned that he has owned a home in the Valley for many years (as many celebrities have) and this was his place to, in es­sence, escape the “hustle and bustle” of Los Angles and find tranquility and recharge. Mr. Stein indicated that the new focus for development in the Valley will happen East of Washington Street. The City of La Quinta borders Washington Street to the East and has one of the high­est per household income statistics, in the entire Valley and is surrounded by many of the world class venues / events previously mentioned. It is expected to become one the highest sought after areas in the Valley for new developments. Out of every­thing that Mr. Stein talked about at the economic summit, the one thing that really seemed to resonate with the large audience was the reference that when you are in or around Los An­geles and don’t feel like spending a day to travel, to Hawaii for example, then you can jump in your car and drive to the Coachella Valley.

Approximately twenty five million people live within a 2.5 hour drive of the Coach­ella Valley. When you want a convenient “get away” with consistently great weather, then discover the Coachella Valley. At least in the Coach­ella Valley you do not have to gamble on your vacation being spoiled by rain.

Another company in the Valley, the Saxony group, is one of the largest landown­ers with over 1,250 prime acres situated throughout the Valley. The Saxony Group is excited about their 505 suite, extended stay rental apart­ment project that includes a blues and jazz themed en­tertainment street hosting 8 restaurants, 2 coffee shops, art gallery and a central out­door stage. This property is located in the heart of La Quinta with Highway 111 ex­posure. The Saxony Group will be in the market within the next 2 weeks interview­ing for a 50% partner for this project. A representa­tive from Saxony indicated that for a company looking to fast track into the oppor­tunity existing in the Valley – here it is. We visited this 22 acre site in La Quinta that will host this development and it is truly stunning. The Saxony Group will be fielding inquiries from companies on this opportunity via email at info@saxonyusa.com and through their head office at (760) 568-1222.

Here and now, the Coachella Valley has what many are identifying as great buying op­portunities for the potential investors / home owners. After the last downturn in the world economy in 2008, Cal­ifornia real estate prices got hit hard. As California has al­ready started its recovery the coastal communities are full steam ahead and the Coach­ella Valley has lagged and many feel, with all the existing facts, that it will start its run in the third quarter of this year.

When you put all of the pieces to the puzzle togeth­er it seems to depict a clear market realization that the Coachella Valley, is “ripe” for investors / home owners – right now. So whether you are interested in purchasing a stunning estate home, or even a golf course condo­minium, it is the prices, the 350 days of sunshine a year and the postcard views that might prompt you to take a look at the Coachella Valley.