The Coachella City Council approved 4-0 on Dec. 11 a proposal to build La Entrada, a 2,200-acre community expected to become an economic game-changer for the city.
The development, located south of Interstate 10, would create a city within a city, adding 30,000 residents to Coachella over the next two decades.
“La Entrada will become the new gateway into the City of Coachella and the region bringing new businesses, services and entertainment to the Valley over the next 20 years,” said Ken Ryan of KTGY in a statement, one of the principal architecture and planning firms involved in the project.
The $1 billion-plus idea for the La Entrada by New West Development is ambitious. It would include 7,800 homes; a retail center with stores, office space and businesses; nearly 350 acres of open space for playgrounds, parks and hiking trails; and potentially a new soccer-centric sports venue.
To accommodate the anticipated influx of residents and visitors, the developer of the La Entrada Specific Plan wants to create a new highway interchange at Avenue 50 and rework existing roadways in the area.
Terry Manley, president of Las Vegas-based New West Development, purchased the property in 2011.
Manley, who also developed PGA West in La Quinta, said the development will create an entirely new community, one that would attract new hotels, retail spaces and other businesses to Coachella.
The City Council approved 4-0 a series of resolutions and ordinances concerning La Entrada back in November, when the item first went before the council.
“The fact of the matter is that we have a unique opportunity to move the city forward,” Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia said during initial discussion of the project.
Following fiscal and environmental impact studies, the plan would be carried out in five phases through 2032.
The project will be split into three different communities, each with its own focus.
Gateway Village will be a “mixed-use” community with entertainment and athletic uses, but will also include open space. Manley said he envisions anything from an enormous soccer-centric sports venue for east valley residents to a tournament-style sports facility that serves the region.
Gateway, as the name suggests, would connect Coachella to an I-10 interchange at Avenue 50. Manley said the highway connection has been previously discussed by local governments, but he hopes to expedite the idea. The interchange, he said, is the key to attracting new hotels, retail space and other businesses to the city.
Central Village will contain most of the project’s residential units, mostly single-family housing structures that would resemble the traditional neighborhood, according to Manley. It also proposes construction of a middle school and an elementary school.
Hillside Village will showcase the most desert topography, with only a few developments surrounded by rural land. It includes a 558-acre parcel of land that would require annexation into the city.
A meandering paseo extending throughout the development would connect all three villages.
About 25 percent — or 557 acres — of the project will focus intricately on the pedestrian experience, with plazas, paseos, parks, natural trails and open space.