November 18, 2020

Riverside County Supervisors Unanimously Approve Thermal Beach Club

David Portener

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors has voted to approve the Thermal Beach Club, a privately-funded development that will bring many benefits to the community of Thermal and the eastern Coachella Valley region, including an unprecedented contribution towards clean water and park development, investment into extending infrastructure, efforts to develop affordable housing, and job creation, economic development and tax revenue that are critically needed for economic recovery and meeting community needs in the eastern Coachella Valley.

Over the course of the past year, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez requested that county staff and the project applicant meet with community members and address questions. Thermal Beach Club representatives held over 40 meetings and garnered support from the community.

The applicant put forth a community benefit payment of $2,300 per housing unit, totaling $749,800 for a community benefit fund. The community benefit paid by the developer can go towards meeting particular community needs, such as helping more eastern Coachella Valley residents have access to clean drinking water or the building of a new park.

“I want to thank the community advocates and all involved in this project for getting us all to this point,” said Supervisor Perez. “This is unprecedented. This has never been done before in the County of Riverside. With our concerns for affordable housing needs, clean water, lack of infrastructure and basic amenities, we have to establish partnerships and relationships to advance improvements. This project is innovative and a quite exciting plan for developing a portion of the Kohl Ranch, while bringing significant community benefits for the Thermal community and the eastern Coachella Valley.”

The Thermal Beach Club will be built in the Thermal community, on vacant land south of Avenue 64 and west of Polk Street. The visionary project includes a 22-acre lagoon with wave-making technology for surfing and water recreation, and 34,400 square feet of clubhouse buildings, that include a restaurant and bar. There are 326 dwelling units planned for the development’s full build-out.

During the meeting, the developer representative shared that, as part of this project, the builder will invest approximately $4 million to extend infrastructure in the surrounding area, including paved roads along Polk Street, and extensions of water, electrical and gas lines.

The Thermal Beach Club developers also committed in writing to contribute to the development of affordable housing by seeking land within Kohl Ranch for future affordable housing. If they are unable to identify a site to build affordable housing, the developer has offered to contribute funding towards affordable housing development.

The developer estimated approximately 1,000 to 2,000 construction jobs and 200-400 permanent jobs will be created as a result of this project. The developer pledged to hiring and buying local as feasible.

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