Infrastructure Improvements to Support Development… and Vice-Versa!
As we all know, nothing happens until you have a sale. It takes money to make things happen. When it comes to transportation improvements such as roads, highways, freeways and arterials, today’s tax dollars go only go so far. Luckily, the public sector has a partner in the private sector.
Speaking from the developer side, we couldn’t build our projects without infrastructure, and they—the public sector— can’t build infrastructure without development. The good news is today in our little corner of the world, Southwest Riverside County, California, both new development and infrastructure improvements are in full swing, thanks in part to a wave of new development.
There are currently more than 30 residential projects in various phases of construction, and more than a dozen major transportation projects underway in Southwest Riverside County. Recently, the Rancon Group helped build a missing link of road in Menifee that will support circulation elements for one of our residential projects. While it was a rather small project compared to other major transportation improvements, it was essential to not only our development, but also to the general population of The City of Menifee.
With the continued improvement in the real estate market, the major transportation projects now underway in the area are about to come on line, and help support the new wave of commercial and residential activity in the area. Here’s quick look at some of the major transportation projects we are keeping an eye on:
French Valley Interchange
This long awaited improvement is designed to reduce congestion on I-15 access to one of the main arteries—Winchester Road / SR-79—in The City of Temecula. Ultimately (Phase II), it will provide access to a new arterial road, French Valley Parkway that will connect the I-15 to Murrieta Hot Springs Road, a major arterial in the City of Murrieta, and then intersect with Winchester Road / SR-79, near French Valley. The total project cost (Phase I & II) is estimated at $200 million, and will be paid for by a combination of Developer Impact Fees (DIF), TUMF (Transportation Unified Mitigation Fees), and local, state and federal transportation funding. Both DIF and TUMF are generated from development.
Phase I of this project will create a new freeway off-ramp for access to Jefferson Avenue (a major arterial connecting the cities of Temecula and Murrieta) and reduce congestion on the southbound I-15. In addition, the current Winchester Road / SR-79 interchange off-ramps will be widened. This phase is fully funded and will be completed in December of this year (2013).
The current Winchester Road / 79 interchange provides access to State Highway 79 (SR079), which is a major thoroughfare leading to French Valley, Winchester and beyond. The Rancon Group manages several development projects along the route including French Valley 41 , Rancon Crossroads, MHS 20, Rancon Sevilla , and all of our Winchester Valley property.
French Valley Parkway
In Phase II of the French Valley Interchange project the new overpass will connect to a new arterial called French Valley Parkway. This phase of the Interchange will connect Jefferson Avenue with Ynez Road. French Valley Parkway will ultimately become a major arterial connecting to Murrieta Hot Springs Road, and Winchester Road / SR-79. Phase II is in the design phase, which is expected to take several more years (Oct. 2015) to reach a final plan. As a side note, due primarily to federal constraints regarding major interstate freeway projects, this project (Phase I & II) had been in the planning stages for 13 years before breaking ground in June of 2012.
The Rancon Group’s Murrieta Hot Springs-20 property is located at Date Street and Murrieta Hot Springs Road and will be at a prominent major intersection when the Parkway is completed.
Winchester Road / SR-79 Widening
The Winchester Road / SR-79 highway, also known as State Highway 79 North, is a major highway that currently connects The City of Temecula with State Highway 74 in Hemet. Along the route it passes through the unincorporated areas of French Valley, and Winchester. Under the management of the Riverside County Transportation Department, the widening project will complete this thoroughfare to a minimum of four lanes from the I-15 to Domenigoni Parkway. The first phase of this two stage project will be completed in the fall of 2013 at a cost of $16 million. Phase II, which is also under construction is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014 at a cost of $10.4 million. Again a combination of TUMF, DIF, state and county funding will foot the bill.
Winchester Road, as it is known locally, provides access to numerous Rancon Group properties including French Valley 41, Rancon Sevilla, MHS-20, all the properties in Winchester Ranch and Rancon Crossroads.
Interstate 215 (I-215) runs from the City of Temecula through the City of San Bernardino and connects to the I-15 below the Cajon Pass in Devore. A portion of this interstate—Murrieta to Perris—has been two lanes in each direction since the 1980s. This portion has been called the I-215 Corridor and has been the subject of much anticipation as becoming a major economic engine for the entire Inland Empire. The need is there, the opportunities are there, the land is there, and now with the I-215 widening, the access will be there. This corridor has the potential of creating more than 130,000 permanent jobs, and more than $11 billion in annual revenue once transportation and vital area drainage infrastructure is in place.
The project will complete the I-215 from Murrieta to Perris to freeway status with a minimum of three lanes running in each direction. Phase I of the project (Murrieta to Scott Road) was completed in 2013 at a cost of $29 million, and the second phase (Scott Road to Nuevo Road) is scheduled for completion in late 2015. Estimated cost for the entire project is $131 million, a large portion of which comes from development funds.
In addition to the overall economic impact of this project on the entire area, the new I-215 freeway will benefit numerous Rancon Group projects including all the projects in our Winchester Ranch and Motte portfolios.
Newport Road Interchange
The City of Menifee, in conjunction with Caltrans, Riverside County Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, will begin a major interchange improvement to the I-215 Newport Road overpass. The proposed improvements would reconstruct the existing diamond interchange into a partial cloverleaf interchange configuration, with northbound and southbound loop on-ramps. The existing bridge would be widened to accommodate six through lanes of traffic, deceleration lanes approaching the loop on-ramps, outside shoulders that will be used as bike lanes and a sidewalk on the north side of the bridge. The reconstructed interchange is estimated to cost $37 million.
In addition, the City just announced that it is adding lanes to Newport Road to complete it to a six-lane thoroughfare that connects to Domenigoni Parkway. The improvements to Newport Road will be completed this year (2013), and will cost $2.8 million according to the City. This widening of Newport Road project ties in with the completion of Menifee Road as referenced above.
The Clinton-Keith I-15 Interchange will provide a much needed improvement to a bustling section of the new City of Wildomar. Construction started in April of 2012 and will be completed in the fall of 2013. This is a major upgrade of the “diamond” style interchange and will feature the widening of all four on/off ramps, a widening of the overpass and Clinton-Keith Road to three lanes in each direction, the addition of auxiliary lanes in each direction of I-15, drainage and lighting improvements, ramp meters and signal improvements. The project is managed by Riverside County Transportation Department and partners include The City of Wildomar, WRCOG and Caltrans. The project cost is estimated at $22,856,000.
These are just a few of the major projects now in progress in this rapidly developing area. At the Rancon Group we believe in progress and prosperity. These projects will go a long way in supporting that process.