Hold Your Horses: The Facts About Development on Hamner Avenue
Developers routinely test the market to shape future development proposals, and that is currently happening with two strategically located sites in the City. But, the City reassures residents that these are not official proposals and are not under consideration.
What’s the Word on the Trail?
You may have heard rumors about two conceptual development projects in the City of Norco, or even seen real estate signs or marketing brochures promoting one or both sites. There is no need to be concerned, as no formal applications have been submitted to the City. The first site consists of property from Sixth Street to Detroit Street between Hamner and the I-15 Freeway. The second site consists of property on Beacon Hill, at the southwest corner of Hamner Avenue and Sixth Street. Both sites have been the focus of developer interest for many years and are now being evaluated by a new developer. That prospective developer is represented in both cases by CBRE, a large real estate firm specializing in leasing space to commercial and retail tenants.
Why is this Information Floating Around?
It is first important to understand that no actual projects are being processed by City staff or reviewed or voted on by the City Council. It is also important to know that it is common practice in the commercial real estate industry to create marketing materials designed to generate interest from prospective tenants long before a project is ever approved. Because it can take many months to secure tenants—and because financing is often dependent on tenant interest—developers never wait for a project to be approved prior to actively marketing their conceptual projects. In our country’s free market economy, it is only natural to test the waters early to arrive at the best mix of tenants. Local governments tend not to interfere with this process, nor any private real estate transactions.
Site #1: Northern Gateway
The first conceptual project encompasses a site at the northern gateway to the City of Norco, from Sixth Street to Detroit Street between Hamner and the I-15 Freeway. This 15-acre site involves multiple property owners, which makes assembly of the entire site extremely challenging. The developer of this conceptual project is currently trying to attract hotels, retail stores and restaurants, which is a typical business practice. The site also includes about three acres of City-owned property, however the City has not made any commitments to any parties. CBRE has installed a marketing sign on a 3.4-acre lot south of Clark Field, which is permissible because the developer is already in escrow to purchase that parcel.
Site #2: Beacon Hill
The second conceptual project involves approximately 50 acres of Beacon Hill at the southwest corner of Hamner Avenue and Sixth Street. The developer of this conceptual project is currently attempting to attract one or two hotels, dining and retail activity, and envisions a residential component with equestrian amenities. Regardless of any development, the historic summit of Beacon Hill will always be preserved.
The City understands that residents may have concerns about these conceptual projects, but wants to reassure the community that these “projects” are purely development ideas produced by private entities and property owners. These development concepts could never be implemented without resident input.
If these conceptual projects advance into proposed projects—meaning something an applicant (typically a developer) has formally submitted to the City for review—Norco residents will be officially notified of any public hearings or meetings, and will have multiple opportunities to participate in the discussion and provide input before any action can be taken.
If you have any questions, please contact the City Manager’s Office at (951) 270-5617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.