Palm Springs focuses on revitalizing uptown

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Uptown Palm Springs is getting a major facelift with the help of the city council. The council approved more than $500,000 in grants to up and coming restaurants, retail stores and hotels moving into some of the vacant storefronts in uptown.  "Releasable space that certainly could use tenant improvements remodeling and this is the kind of the program that could actually make this happen," said David Ready, Palm Springs city manager.  

Each business submitted an application for the incentive program which was approved last year, to set aside $1 million from the general fund.  Ernest Coffee and Bootlegger Tiki Bar on Tachevah and North Palm Canyon is one of the recipients.  The business received $30,000 to help renovate the new space.  "Made all the difference in the world, lessened the pressure a little bit, gave us some encouragement," said Jaime Kowal, co-owner of Ernest Coffee.  

The city council also made a major decision towards revamping the area.  It approved an $80 million hotel, restaurant and retail project to fill the dirt lot on Alejo and Palm Canyon drive. Construction could begin by the fall and city hopes it will merge downtown and uptown.  "It'll create energy, obviously create another venue, and it'll be a great addition to the entire town," said Ready.

It will also help bring people to surrounding businesses like Hamburger Mary's across the street.   "We need this building, we need something new," said manager Richard Casillas.   "We get ignored. Everyone goes to central Palm Springs and they forget about us." 

Now, with the city's backing, businesses like these hope to change the way people see uptown Palm Springs. "To bridge the gap, like to provide more options for people to have a really well designed, inspirational, fun place," said Kowal. 

For more information on the Ernest Coffee Shop you can go to www.ernestcoffee.com. 

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