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Rancho Mirage Planning a $50-Million Complex

City signs negotiating deal with developer J.H. Snyder. The project will include movie theaters, shops and restaurants.


The city of Rancho Mirage plans a $50-million shopping and entertainment development on a 25-acre site at the northwest corner of Bob Hope Drive and Highway 111, city officials announced.

The city and its redevelopment agency have signed an agreement to negotiate with Los Angeles-based developer J.H. Snyder Co.

Barry Foster, economic development director for Rancho Mirage, said the city envisions the vacant site becoming a town center, with an Edwards Theatres Circuit Inc. movie house as one of its main draws, along with shops and restaurants.

Snyder has 120 days to develop a plan and line up tenants. Foster said the city could extend the deadline.

Assuming the developer meets the schedule and finds tenants, Foster said, the next step would be for the city to enter into an agreement in which the redevelopment agency would sell Snyder the property and adopt a plan for its development. The price is being negotiated, Foster said.

"It's all about tenants. Getting the tenants will be the key," Foster said. A chief reason the city chose Snyder, he said, was that the developer obtained a commitment from Edwards.

The soonest construction could begin, developer Jerry Snyder estimated, would be in about eight months. Work would be completed about nine months after that.

Snyder and Foster have only preliminary ideas about the design and tenants. Snyder said he envisions a river running through the center, with the theater and shops facing it. Foster said tenants are likely to include a bookstore, restaurants, one or two anchor retailers and specialty shops.

"We're not really looking to replicate any existing development," Foster said. "All we ask for is that it is a quality project that stresses pedestrian orientation and is a gathering place for the city."

Snyder also is building Howard Hughes Entertainment Center at the San Diego Freeway and Howard Hughes Parkway in Westchester, as well as a shopping and entertainment center at La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, in partnership with Regent Properties. Snyder is known for a number of high-profile office projects in Los Angeles, including the Water Garden in Santa Monica and Wilshire Courtyard in the Miracle Mile district.

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