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Home / Neighborhood / Riverside County / Student housing, more parking approved near Riverside library

Student housing, more parking approved near Riverside library

by Staff
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A 392-unit mixed-use development for student housing and commercial space along with a new garage that will increase library parking by about 25% gained Riverside City Council approval last week.

The site for the new construction is a former bus station turned temporary parking lot since the Riverside Main Library opened three years ago.

“This project will complement our main library beautifully, injecting vitality into our downtown,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said in a statement. “The entire community benefits from new housing for students, plus retail and office, all within walking distance of parks and restaurants.”

The City Council voted unanimously June 11 to sell 1.7 acres to Pelican Communities LLC in order to move the $78 million project forward. The site is between the library and University Avenue west of Market Street, and housing at the complex will be available to students who attend any college or university.

The development project also includes 12,000 square feet of retail space, 16,700 square feet for offices, a library plaza cafe and a 335-space parking structure. Library patrons will be able to park free of charge for the first three hours, and parking spaces will be available to the public when the library is closed.

Overland Pelican Riverside is the project developer. The firm is connected with Newport Beach-based Pelican Communities LLC and Riverside-based Overland Development, officials said. Pelican Communities has built projects throughout California, including the Merrill Avenue Brownstones apartment complex near the Riverside Plaza.

Despite exemption from state affordable housing requirements, the developers voluntarily have designated 10% of the units as affordable.

Pelican Communities is buying the property for $200 in exchange for providing 60 parking spaces in the parking facility for library use, which is an estimated $2.4 million value, while the value of the land is an estimated $1.83 million, according to the city. While construction takes place, library patrons can validate three hours of free parking at nearby existing parking garages.

“Students from all over Riverside will be able to benefit from this project,” Mayor Pro Tem Steve Hemenway said in a statement. “The transformation of this property from the former bus station to this higher use is remarkable.”

Overland Development’s major projects in Riverside and the Los Angeles area include the Imperial Hardware Lofts, 9+Main Residential, the Hilton Hampton Inn on Market Street and the Hilton Home 2 Suites, which is under construction.

The development project will create about 200 construction jobs, and the completed project will generate $567,661 in annual revenue, according to the city.

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