ICSC-The EVC Manager worked the Las Vegas ICSC “Convention” in many capacities. Riverside County hosted the booth with the participation of fourteen Cities and entities this year. As an EDA representative I was responsible for scheduling appointments for the participants and maintaining the meeting facilities. The EVC ICSC recap summarizes meetings in and out of the EDA Booth. The EVC was able to hand out over 200 copies of the EVC collateral piece to interested parties. The La Quinta “tote bags” were a hit and we ran out of the 100 bags early the second day of the event, as well as the La Quinta collateral piece. Good meetings and follow up conversations are planned. An economic development collaborative was formed with Temecula, Riverside and the EVC to work together and partner in upcoming regional projects the joint use of SOURCE LINK RESOURCE NETWORK. Another positive event was planned at ICSC with the Kosmont Company to produce another P-3 ICSC event sometime in the fall of 2017.  The last EVC P-3 event was well attended by many Coachella Valley cities.

The biggest projects the EVC is working on now include the Pavilions Palms Shopping Center project on Ave 50 and Jefferson Street in La Quinta. This center was re-born at the 2016 ICSC Las Vegas Show. This EVC driven project has been a top priority for the EVC Manager. This proposed project is the largest since the Costco Center and is estimated to generate 30-40 million dollars in taxable sales to the City of La Quinta at buildout.  We have had numerous planning sessions and are getting closer to a consensus of all parties involved. The Golden Corral Restaurant and Planet Fitness sites in North Indio are getting closer to becoming reality. We are working on a regional tech site for Coachella that could be the beginning of a Silicon South boom for the east valley. We look forward to the new Coachella downtown library, social services building, and ongoing plans for a mixed use small retail/restaurant district surrounding the newly remodeled Vietnam Veterans Park. We continue to work with the Cabazon Tribe to make a free trade zone and US Customs Office a reality. We are also involved with continuing the movement of a recycling zone on Tribal land.

The EVC remains involved with the Salton Sea restoration movement. We have attended many meetings with the SSAC, SSA and IID to work towards a solution. The EVC is also represented on the joint developer/Tribal/IID project meetings. The EVC continues to support the GCVCC with membership and participation.  The EVC is a supporter and participant with Desert Valley Builders Association. EVC Manager Wright was an original member of the DVBA and continues to support new housing and commercial development, especially in the east valley. The Manager remains a Board Member of the Salton Sea Action Committee and Growing Coachella Valley. Both of these organizations remain crucial to economic development in the east valley. The EVC Manager is pursuing economic development certifications through CALED and ICSC.

The EVC and the CVSBDC (Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center) continues to produce programs that reach out to the Spanish speaking community with small business and foreign trade workshops as well as planning our second annual Business Conference in April during Riverside County’s Innovation month. The CVSBDC, which the EVC Manager acts as Assistant Director, has served over 150 clients and currently involved with three access to capital campaigns each over 2M in size. We are continuing to work with La Quinta resident Shannon Stevens in bringing her patented medical device to market. As previously mentioned, the EVC is working with a client whose employment “app” has drawn much enthusiasm. We have taken the opportunity to promote a future tech region in the east valley. I think this has the potential to be a large economic development driver for tech business and JOBS. The CVSBDC has received a grant from GoBiz for continued consulting hours, and the final estimated resources from the Annual Business Conference in April will fund 140 consulting hours for business start-ups and expansions. We see real growth for the CVSBDC in 2017-2018 which will impact the EVC’s business growth and jobs MISSION.

The June EVC Board meeting will concentrate on the 2017-2018 EVC Budget. I am in hopes that we can ratify the document in June in general and discuss further during the Strategic Planning meeting on July 19th. I would also like to see some bones for the planning session agenda as well. Please come prepared to comprise some bullet points for the AGENDA.  I am also still in need of more Member profiles for the website. I also need real estate site sheets in PDF format so I can put up on the site. I have decided that I must get more of a hands on approach with the monthly SITE management. I’ve learned that just paying individuals to post isn’t enough, if you want it done right, you must do it yourself!

Finally, I want to reach out to all of you in hopes that you will give the EVC and the EVC Manager another “full” year to continue the work to reach my two year goals.  There are 4 new Companies/Organizations that want to join the EVC with a financial contribution as a full voting Board Membership. I will be bringing them to the EVC Board for future ratification.  I know that you are all getting tired of hearing it, but I want ALL persons involved in the economic development of the East Valley to be at the TABLE.  Only then do you have a consensus and only then can you accomplish the goals that we all set out to achieve at the EVC’s inception.

On a personal note, my Daughter Hanna Rose graduated from La Quinta High School last week with a 4.0 GPA and will be attending California Lutheran University in August. We are very proud of her accomplishments.  The East Valley is a great place to raise a Family and I have proudly made it our home for the past twenty seven years.

Bob Wright