By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 02/07/16 – 4:20 PM PST |

RIALTO >> One of the larger redevelopment projects in the Inland Empire is currently taking shape in and around the former Rialto Airport, with developers in discussions with potential tenants and city officials eager to usher in new housing, job and revenue opportunities.

The new community, called Renaissance Rialto, as well as an associated retail center and an industrial area, lies within a redevelopment area of about 1,500 acres which includes the 500-acre former airport property.

The area is generally contained within Casmalia Street in the north, Ayala Drive to the east, Tamarind Avenue to the west and Baseline Road to the south. The 210 Freeway cuts through the area.

The residential component will include a mix of rental and for-sale housing. With about 1,300 housing units planned, and an average of about three people per household, officials expect 4,000 new residents and the creation of about 11,000 new jobs at full build-out by the 2030s, said Rob Steel, assistant city administrator and director of development services.

“Obviously, one of the main motivations for us was to increase the number of jobs. … We have a low jobs-to-housing balance, so one of the goals of a healthy, fiscally sustainable community is to have a decent jobs-to-housing ratio,” Steel said.

The project is being developed by the Lewis-Hillwood Rialto Company, LLC, a joint venture between Lewis Planned Communities — a part of the Lewis Group of Companies — and Hillwood, a Texas-based company owned by Ross Perot. Hillwood had been involved in the redevelopment of the former Norton Air Force Base into the industrial development around San Bernardino International Airport.

A major component of the redevelopment is a 60-acre shopping center, called The Renaissance Marketplace Retail Center, located at the intersection of Ayala Drive and Renaissance Parkway. The center, which will include a luxury, 14-screen theater multiplex, could potentially have about 500,000 square feet of retail buildings. Agreements are already in place with perspective tenants for space totaling 190,000 square feet, said Randall Lewis, principal of the Lewis Group of Companies.

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