Development plans on tap
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/20/2011 03:30:35 PM PDT

COLTON – Property touted as a potential key to solving the city’s financial troubles is a step closer to development.

Negotiations for the land, near the corner of Valley Boulevard and Pepper Avenue, have been completed after several years of failed hopes.

The Board of Supervisors agreed last week to trade 152,811square feet of county land for 91,437square feet of right-of-way from Colton. The city will also pay $4.1 million to the county as it collects that money in developer impact fees to cover its share of infrastructure costs for nearby Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

The land – some of the last vacant property in the city – can propel Colton to the next level as businesses build around the medical center, said Councilman David Toro, who represents the area.

“This is the ground-breaking point of the city starting to rebuild,” Toro said. “For the most part, we want to complement the hospital – bring doctors’ offices, restaurants, businesses … even hotels, so people coming to the hospital have some place to stay.”

Jobs, tax revenue and improved image will follow, Toro predicted.

Developer Salah Haggag has been waiting three years to bring in a shopping center to do just that.

“We’re planing a build-to-suit shopping center with those properties that will be created in conjunction with the future lessees,” Haggag said. “We’re not emotionally tied to any one type of project.”

Current plans call for a shopping center with restaurants and a gas station. Haggag is seeking food franchises for the project.

Other businesses should see the emerging market and follow, Toro said.

To read entire story, click here.