|By Jim Butler, Hotel Lawyer, Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
Hotel Lawyer: Coachella Valley. Just before Thanksgiving, more than 250 people listened to the experts at the ULI-JMBM Conference on development issues and trends affecting the fastest growing area in Southern California—the Coachella Valley. According to David Waite, a land use and entitlements partner in JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group and the moderator for the program, “The Coachella Valley extends approximately 45 miles from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea. It includes nine cites: Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.”
Here is why you might want to know what is going on in this development center!
Key Facts and overview
Naturally, David Waite’s land use and entitlement practice with JMBM and the Global Hospitality Group has a deep involvement in the Coachella Valley in many hotel-enhanced mixed-use projects. Many involve golf, destination spas, residential and condo hotel, retail, and other real estate uses. According to David, there are a number of Key Facts to understanding the opportunities, and problems, in this hot market:
According to Waite, “The upshot of all of this is that over the near
and long term, there will be a scarcity of developable land, and the same
development pressures and constraints that have defined neighboring Los
Angeles and Orange County will increasingly define the scope of development
in the Coachella Valley. This in turn will contribute to a rise in land
values as entitlements become more difficult to obtain.”
They vary. Water rights. Traffic. Endangered species. Preserving transient
occupancy taxes and providing hotel rooms for tourists (who spend more
per capita than residents). These are all high on the agenda of local officials
according to David Waite.
David counsels that in his experience, 90% of the entitlement issues
can be identified up front by performing a thorough entitlements evaluation
at the inception of the project. Although there is always some uncertainty
in the discretionary approval process, there should be no big surprises
if the developer has done its homework early in the development process.
Armed with the right information, the project can be shaped and presented
to the community in a way that it gains the support of the local elected
officials, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders. Obtaining land use
entitlements involves a balancing of public and private goals and objectives;
the key to striking a successful balance is knowing how to seize the fulcrum
of community and regulatory support for the project.
David Waite is a senior member of the Global Hospitality Group® and a partner in the Firm's Government, Land Use, Environmental and Energy Department. A land use and environmental lawyer with more than 20 years' experience, David specializes in representing hospitality industry clients in all aspects of land use entitlements, regulatory permits and approvals for hotels, destination resorts, mixed use development and master-planned communities. David's expertise includes zoning, subdivisions, variances, development agreements, impact fees, initiatives and referenda, CEQA/NEPA, wetlands, endangered species, redevelopment law, land use litigation, hazardous materials compliance and remediation. For more information please contact David Waite at 310.7785.5319 or DWaite@JMBM.com.
About the Author:
Jim Butler is recognized as one of the top hotel lawyers in the world. He devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, representing hotel owners, developers and lenders. Jim leads JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®—a team of 50 seasoned professionals with more than $40 billion of hotel transactional experience, involving more than 1,000 properties located around the globe. In the last 5 years alone, they have brought their practical advice to more than 80 “hotel-enhanced mixed-use” projects, a term Jim coined to fill a void in industry lexicon. This term describes one of the hottest developments in real estate-where hotels work together with shopping center, residential, office, retail, spa and sports facility components to mutually enhance the entire project’s excitement and success. Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them. They are a major gateway of hotel finance, facilitating the flow of capital with their legal skill, hospitality industry knowledge and ability to find the right “fit” for all parts of the capital stack. Because they are part of the very fabric of the hotel industry, they are able to help clients identify key business goals, assemble the right team, strategize the approach to optimize value and then get the deal done. Jim is the author of the Hotel Law Blog, www.HotelLawBlog.com. He can be reached at +1 310.201.3526 or email@example.com.
|Also See:||The Coachella Valley Has More than 100 Golf Courses; Everyone's Trying to Up the Ante / November 2004|
|Sandwiched Between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City Hoping the Planned 300-room Sheraton Desert Cove Resort Will Make the City more of a Destination / May 2005|