Desert Fashion Plaza Could Soon Be Getting a Facelift

Desert Fashion Plaza has been sitting unused in downtown Palm Springs since the late 1980s, but it looks as though the defunct mall will finally be put to new use. A “visioning workshop” took place this past Wednesday with residents, business owners, and City leaders to brainstorm ideas for the future of this property.  Ideas included a boutique casino, a fashion and design center, the new headquarters for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, additional hotel rooms, a movie theatre, and more.

The community design process is an innovative way to let citizens be heard, and there are clearly many opinions in the desert concerning this property. Many residents are frustrated by how long Palm Springs community meetingDesert Fashion Plaza has set empty without tenants to fill the vacant space. However, the City’s hands have been tied because the property is still owned by John Wessman who has let the property sit idle all this time.

While the idea of having community help in deciding how to use the space is a novel concept, funding for the project would be nothing new: raised taxes. An estimated $50 million would be needed by the City to purchase and develop what includes Desert Fashion Plaza, and it’s unclear whether or not voters would approve the tax hikes.

Palm Springs city mapAdditional workshops have been scheduled for February 3rd and February 9th at 6:00 p.m. at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and City Council is expected to meet later in March to discuss putting the tax increases on the ballot.  Will you attend either of the two upcoming sessions, and if so, what are your ideas for this space?