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June Allan Corrigan writes in the current edition of Palm Springs Life Magazine about the planned world-class luxury community on Rancho Mirage’s Section 31 (the 618 acres of undeveloped land stretching east from  Bob Hope Drive to Monterey Avenue and stretching north from Frank Sinatra Drive to Gerald Ford Drive; across Bob Hope Drive from Sunnylands).

Section 31 was originally acquired by Walter Annenberg in the 1960s to create a buffer of privacy for his Sunnylands estate. The Annenbergs sold this Section 31 in 1977, with covenant restrictions in place as to its usage. Although long considered a prime location for residential and resort development by developers and builders, a succession of business dealings in the 2000s coupled with a sinking economy stalled plans to develop the property.

However, in March 2018, a group of investors led by a Canadian private equity firm consolidated all the divided interests and purchased the entire 618 acres. The Section 31 ownership group, EC Rancho Mirage Holdings Limited Partnership, has since partnered with Scottsdale based real estate development firm, DMB Development, as the property’s master developer. DMB claims its development will be a luxurious and sustainable grand desert oasis with a clear, swimmable 30-plus-acre lagoon at its center. Elegant, desert-themed residential neighborhoods with a variety of housing types will emanate outward on three sides of the lagoon, interconnected by a series of quiet intimate streets and a network of walking and biking trails. Current plans call for 1,932 residential and hotel branded residential units. A residents’ beach club will occupy the fourth side of the lagoon, creating the ultimate environment for water-based leisure, health, and wellness activities for residents year-round. Plans include an iconic retail village center, with 175,000 sq ft of combined office, restaurant, entertainment, shopping and neighborhood commercial space, and a pair of high-end resort hotel locations, with a total of 400 rooms, providing a range of shopping, dining, entertainment, gallery, and leisure activities for residents, hotel guests, and the public.

While it is an ambitious plan, DMB Development is confident they can deliver an interesting and environmentally sustainable water-based attraction that will further enhance Rancho Mirage’s reputation as a premier destination. In the past, a new Coachella Valley luxury community of this scale would be anchored by one or more golf courses. The planned lagoon will rely on innovative technology to minimize energy, water, and chemical usage and is projected to utilize less than 25 percent of the water that one carefully managed golf course requires. It will also rely on innovative technology to minimize energy, water, and chemical usage.

On March 4, 2019, a Specific Plan for the project was filed with the City of Rancho Mirage, representing the commencement of the entitlement process for the project. To read the Section 31 Specific Plan yourself, please visit: https://section31property.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019.03.04-2051-Section-31-Specific-Plan-Gen-4-MARCH-4-SUBMITTAL-Revised.pdf

To read June Allan Corrigan’s original article, courtesy of Palm Springs Life Magazine, please visit: https://www.palmspringslife.com/rancho-mirage-section-31/

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