“Downtown revitalization is creating much needed economic activity for Riverside”, said Mayor Ron Loveridge, “and is evidence that Riverside Renaissance is the tool that secured Riverside’s spot as a leading and innovative city.”
These six projects bring hundreds of construction workers into downtown every day and will provide thousands of permanent jobs upon completion.
At the corner of University and Lime Streets, Riverside will soon welcome the stately new Citrus Tower Office Building. This privately funded project will be six stories with 140,000 square feet of class “A” office space and four levels of subterranean parking. Once completed next winter, the sleek, eye-catching architecture will add a modern touch to the eclectic Downtown landscape.
Just to the northwest of Citrus Tower, ground has broken on the new three-story, 30,000 square foot Downtown Fire Headquarters. This multi-use building will include fire administration, a fire museum, and a fire station serving downtown. The unique design includes a fire pole that extends to all three floors and room within the museum space on the first floor to display an antique fire truck. Both features will be visible behind large windows on all levels, symbolically bringing Riverside Fire Department’s history and future under one roof.
Also under construction, a 125 room Hyatt Place Hotel is expected to open for business in early 2012. The Hyatt’s timing is strategic, intended to complement yet another construction project currently in the design stages – renovation of the Riverside Convention Center. The scope of this project will include expanded meeting, ball room and exhibit hall space as well as vital mechanical, electrical and plumbing system upgrades. This project will be complete by winter 2013.
Two prominent Downtown landmarks are also undergoing revitalization this year. The Riverside Metropolitan Museum, home to over 100,000 artifacts, is indeed an antique itself. Constructed in 1912 as a post office, it was reincarnated as a police station for many years before taking on its current use. The Museum is now wrapped in scaffolding while crews remove, salvage and reinstall windows, roof tiles, wooden eaves and exterior doors as well as vital seismic retrofitting. Completion is anticipated in the fall of this year.
Across the street, the Municipal Auditorium will soon begin $10 million in similar rejuvenation efforts. Long a primary location for Riverside events, it has been eased of its continuous duties by the opening of the Fox Performing Arts Center and can now take a much needed respite from service. The Auditorium is expected to resume its duties in the spring of 2012. The goal of both projects is to salvage and reuse as much of the original material as possible from roof tiles to window glass to preserve historic authenticity, allowing these Riverside monuments to stand watch over Mission Inn Avenue for many more years to come.
Next door to the Fox Performing Arts Center on Market Street, the Fox Entertainment Plaza will add a 4,000 square foot black box theater, 12,000 square feet of new restaurant space, a 10,000 square foot exhibit hall and a new four story, 400 space parking garage tucked behind preserved historic facades. The project includes a new elevator lobby to serve the Fox and additional gathering space within the Fox. This new downtown destination is scheduled to open in the summer of 2012.