Hello, this is Gaither Loewenstein, Economic Development and Planning Manager for the City of Barstow. I would like to take a moment to share with you several important projects that have come to fruition in the Community Development division over this past quarter.
Community Development Department
• The economic recovery is in full bloom in Barstow, with several new commercial enterprises opening their doors in 2016 and numerous additional retail stores, hotels and service establishments preparing to break ground or open in 2017. The City’s Economic Development and Planning Department has had an active quarter facilitating the completion of new projects and initiating negotiations for various new commercial, industrial and residential development initiatives.
• Among those businesses, celebrating openings in Barstow in 2016 were Oggi’s Pizza and Brewhouse, Asian Food Court, Marshall’s and Choice Medical Group.
• Joining these new members of the Barstow commercial community in 2017 will be Tractor Supply Company, which will open one of just three nationwide showroom spaces in Barstow. The retailer Fallas will join Harbor Freight and Marshall’s in completing the re-occupancy of the former K-mart building, and a new Super Walmart, which will replace and double the size of the City’s existing Walmart store while making eight new retail pads available for future development.
• Gourmet burger chain The Habit will join the City’s Lenwood Road/I-15 restaurant row in late 2017.
• In addition to expanding retail and food services, the City’s residents are benefitting from an expansion of health care services, with Choice Medical Group having recently opened the doors on a brand new 17,000 square-foot medical clinic and Borrego Medical Group currently renovating the former Revolutions Bowling Center to provide additional health care services.
• Two new hotels will soon be joining our community, with a 66-room Best Western Plus currently under construction with completion expected by the end of the year, and construction anticipated to begin in March on a 103-room Home2Suites property. Interest in Barstow on the part of the hospitality sector remains strong with one or more additional hotel projects expected to be announced.
• Although much of the City’s recent development has taken place in the commercial category, Barstow officials and local commercial realtors have also experienced a significant increase in inquiries, site visits and preliminary meetings discussing various potential uses for the City's prime industrial development sites. We are optimistic that a number of these potential projects will advance beyond the preliminary discussion stage in 2017.
• Concerning residential development, the Barstow City Council and the Barstow Unified School District Board of Trustees recently adopted a temporary 50% reduction in development impact fees for single-family housing. This has led to issuance of the first building permits since 2013 in Barstow and has accelerated the pace of discussions between homebuilders and landowners to bring about larger scale residential construction projects.
• Overall, development in the City experienced a strong year in 2016 and based on the pace of inquiries and discussions we anticipate a repeat performance in 2017. The Economic Development and Planning Office remains committed to building upon this recent momentum.