Ranchero Road widening, new Big Lots, new name for ‘Tapestry’

Hesperia will see several large projects continuing and beginning in 2022, including the widening of Ranchero Road and construction of Silverwood, a master-planned community formerly known as “Tapestry.”

City staffers and Silverwood executives shared a preview of coming attractions in Hesperia, which will affect many residents living across the High Desert. 

Ranchero Road widening

In December, Southern California Edison began relocating utility poles, with the contractor preparing to begin grading Ranchero Road sometime in January, Hesperia Senior Management Analyst Tina Souza told the Daily Press. 

Souza’s remark came during a special in-person and Zoom meeting last month, where city staff updated the public on the nearly $54 million Ranchero Road widening project.

The 18-month project by Sully-Miller Contracting will begin on the east side of Ranchero Road near Interstate 15 and move east toward Seventh Avenue. 

The project includes the removal of the two-lane Ranchero Road and constructing a five-lane roadway complete with new traffic signals at Maple, Cottonwood, and Seventh avenues. 

The project also involves removing the existing two-lane bridge and constructing a new bridge over the California Aqueduct at an estimated cost of $16 million, a staff report shows.

The new bridge, located on Ranchero Road between Cottonwood and Seventh avenues, will consist of six traffic lanes and shared pedestrian/bicycle pathways.

The aqueduct bridge was built in 1969 and is too narrow to accommodate pedestrians and additional traffic efficiently, the city said.

The project includes widening the at-grade crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad railroad tracks between Oak Hills High School and I-15.

During construction, one lane in each direction on Ranchero Road will remain open, and residents will be notified when crews work in their immediate vicinity, Souza said. 

She also warned commuters that they should expect traffic delays, detours, uneven roads, and travel restrictions during construction.

The project is in partnership with San Bernardino County, apart from the aqueduct bridge, a city-only portion of the work. Roughly half of the project is within the county’s jurisdiction.

The City Council approved a funding agreement with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority in 2017 for the project and approved using Measure I funds.

Hesperia Commerce Center One

The construction of three large buildings continues at the Hesperia Commerce Center One site west of Interstate 15 and south of Highway 395.

The three buildings will offer approximately 3.5 million square feet of space, with Building No. 1 the new Modway Furniture Distribution Center.

Buildings No. 2 and No. 3 are still available for prospective tenants, according to a city staff report. 

In March, an affiliate of Covington Group Inc. finalized the sale of approximately 60 acres of vacant industrial land located in Hesperia for a build to suit a 1,055,360-square-foot facility. 

The land site is near Interstate 15 and Highway 395 and is part of a 200-acre industrial project known as Hesperia Commerce Center. 

The project has been fully developed and entitled by Covington to accommodate 3.4 million square feet plus a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution buildings, as well as a 15-acre site with visibility on Highway 395 and Interstate 15 slated for smaller service-commercial industrial buildings.  

“The Hesperia Commerce Center was thoughtfully designed with attention being given to industrial trends in recent years that show continued demand drivers for buildings larger than 1,000,000 square feet in the Inland Empire region that can accommodate significant truck parking and potential e-commerce needs,” said CEO and Founding Partner of Covington Ken Sheer.

He also added that he felt the project and the Northern Inland Empire region are uniquely positioned to address this demand given the favorable highway access, attractive occupancy costs, and proximity to a sizable labor pool and affordable housing.

There are plans to construct a build-to-suit on the 60-acre site for Modway, Inc., a major distributor of living, dining, bedroom, outdoor, lighting and office furniture. 

The building will feature 1,055,360 square feet and increase Modway’s ability to serve regional and national distribution requirements, and further scale its business to expand its e-commerce capabilities in the future.  

Modway’s current West Coast distribution is being handled from a 310,550-square-foot facility in Fontana, so the move will constitute both a relocation and an expansion of their existing operations, ultimately bringing 200 jobs to their new location. 

With that in mind, the plan is to swiftly move through the construction phase and deliver the building to allow Modway to be operational sometime in 2022. 

Modway operates two distribution sites in the U.S, including a 310,000-square-foot facility in Fontana and one in New Jersey. The Hesperia site will triple its West Coast operations, according to the company. 

Tapestry/Silverwood

Once known as the “Tapestry” project, the construction of “Silverwood” has begun, with the goal of delivering the first lots in the second quarter of 2023, project General Manager John Ohanian told the Daily Press. 

At more than 9,000 acres and with 15,633 homes projected, residents are expected to move into Phase 1 of the community by the end of the first quarter of 2024. 

“Construction started last month and is focused around the Ranchero and Avenue I area,” said Ohanian, who works for DMB Development. “The first phase of the project will include about 2,104 units all generally on the north end of the property.”

The project will include a total of nine construction phases that will take about 20 years to develop, Ohanian added.

DMB, a developer specializing in large-scale communities, also announced the project will include about 700,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

The Silverwood footprint lies generally between Highway 173 to the south and Summit Valley Road to the north, Arrowhead Lake Road to the east and the Hesperia city limit to the west. 

The housing community lies north of the Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area. The lake was created in 1971 as part of the State Water Project by the construction of Cedar Springs Dam.

Two portions of Phase One stretch north beyond Summit Valley Road, including one section that reaches Ranchero Road just east of Rancho Middle School and the other that ends just south of Krystal School of Science Math & Technology on Krystal Drive.

Silverwood/Tapestry was approved in Jan. 2016 by the Hesperia City Council, consisting of then-mayor and current Mayor Pro Tem Bill Holland, the late Paul Russ, former Councilman Eric Schmidt, and former Councilman Mike Leonard, and the late Russ Blewett.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based DMB, San Bernardino County and Hesperia will work to widen Ranchero Road, Ohanian said.

Movement on Silverwood comes nearly six years after the Hesperia City Council unanimously approved the project against a tidal wave of opposition from residents and groups.

“After project approvals, we went through a series of environmental lawsuits which needed to be resolved before we could proceed,” Ohanian said in a previous interview. “That lawsuit settlement was followed by a period of specific detailed designing and planning to present plans to the city that they could approve and issues permits to construct.”

In June 2017, the court battle that Hesperia officials said delayed Silverwood was resolved after the Terra Verde Group made major concessions, the Daily Press reported. 

The settlement was between Terra Verde and the Center for Biological Diversity, the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and the Sierra Club.

“Our goal is to create a strong, active, and caring community that treasures the natural beauty of this area,” said Brent Herrington, president and CEO of DMB Development.

Hesperia Venture I LLC, the owner of the property and an affiliate of Schlegel Capital LLC, acquired the Silverwood site in 2012 and assembled a team to plan and entitle the site for development.

Alex Vahabzadeh and Ray Wirta of Beaumont Americas, a private equity investment group, led the financing for the project, DMB officials said.

Big Lots

The scheduled opening date for the new Big Lots store is Jan. 27 in the Midtown Square shopping center on Main Street in Hesperia. 

Big Lots will occupy the old Orchard Supply Hardware building just a few doors down from Stater Bros. supermarket. 

Big Lots tenant improvements were approved last September, with the company preparing to pull permits at the time, city officials said.

A Big Lots was located near the corner of Main Street and Ninth Avenue in Hesperia, but the store was shuttered years ago, city staffer said. 

New apartments complexes will add hundreds of housing units  

City staffers said they’re pleased that D.R Horton, Frontier Communities, Pacific Communities, Harris Homes, and Richmond American are a few developers building new residential projects in Hesperia.

During the fiscal year 2020-21, the city issued 290 new single-family home and duplex permits, with an additional 320 projected for the new year.

New options in multifamily housing are opening to the community in 2022, including Frontier Communities’ Las Casitas Apartments, a 160-unit complex located on Live Oak Street near Avenal Street.

Three apartment complexes are also under construction, including the Olive Tree Apartments with 186 units on Third Avenue and Olive Street.

Also, the Tamarisk Apartments on Tamarisk Avenue south of Main Street with 56 units, and the Sonoma Apartments with 142 two-story units on Muscatel Street and E Avenue.

The city is also looking forward to developing the Eagle Housing Senior Apartments Phase II, which will add 96 units to their 55+ community.

For more information about these projects and other opportunities, contact Economic Development staff at aantonio@cityofhesperia.us.

Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Instagram @RenegadeReporter and Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz

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