The City of Redlands introduces a new shopping center

By JOHNATHAN GHAZAL

A rendering of the state street village project with a view of how state street would be connected through the ceremonial arch in the center. (Credit / Zimmerman Visual)

With close collaboration with the city and community, Village Partners Incorporated had success at the approval of their project to develop the Redlands Mall at a joint meeting between the City Council and the Planning Commission on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. For about five hours, the developers presented the design to the city officials and held discussions regarding suggestions and revisions the city council wanted to make.

A look at both sides of the split state street in an old newspaper when the construction for the Redlands Mall was to begin in 1977. (Credit / Newspapers.com)

Before its construction in the 1970s, State Street connected between the now east and west portions of the road. There were six standard city blocks that were demolished, including the historic La Posada Hotel, to make way for a new mall that would bring new business into the city. With two stories, the other being underground, stores such as Gottshalks and Harris’ occupied the building.

Its popularity began to wane in the nineties and early 2000s once the more popular stores that occupied the mall began to be replaced by lesser known companies. In 2009, Gottshalks permanently closed their store which led to the whole mall’s closure in 2010.

Since then, the building has been rendered vacant with the exception of CVS, the only remaining tenant. Though there has been controversy surrounding the appearance of the mall, its commercial parking lot has been utilized for special events such as the Redlands Bowl, the Bicycle Classic, and the Redlands Christmas Parade, just to name a few.

The new State Street Village project began with the acquisition of the mall by the private real estate investment firm, Brixton Capital Limited Partnership in July of 2014. They worked with the land developing company, Village Partners Inc., to transform the Redlands Mall into a more modern and lively space. A sample of their previous projects include the Village at Montclair and Tierra del Rey. In 2018, early designs were conceived to reconnect both sides of State Street with commercial and residential buildings on either side.

Another visual rendering of how people may spend their time around the stores and residential units. (Credit / Zimmerman Visual)

People in Redlands have been divided on whether they want new developments and high buildings or not. Mr. Macomber, an English teacher at Redlands East Valley felt, “It’s time for it to move on, it’s been abandoned for far too long.” 

This future for the new look of Redlands will transform downtown for a new generation of Redlanders to experience by 2025. The reconstruction of the mall area will bring newer, modern spaces and commercial business to the community, just as the Redlands Mall did in the 80s.

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