News Article | 12/9/2004

Complex To Replace Golf Course

SAN BERNARDINO – Industrial development is coming in – and golf is headed out – at a chunk of land wedged between San Bernardino International Airport and the Santa Ana River. Hillwood, the Dallas-based master developer of the former Norton Air Force Base, intends to begin preparing more than 130 acres for development this spring. The Palm Meadows Golf Course will close on March 31 to allow the company to get started. The company tentatively plans to develop an industrial park at the site, about a mile south of where Hillwood already has built warehouse and distribution facilities for Mattel and Kohl’s. The company also is building facilities for auto parts maker Pep Boys. No tenant has been signed for the project, but several proposals are pending, according to Jim Wood, a Hillwood senior vice-president in Dallas. The area had been mentioned as a possible site for a new rail yard, but had drawn objections from San Bernardino Mayor Judith Valles, who was concerned about air pollution and congestion at rail crossings. “That’s definitely not going to happen,” Wood said. “That plan was put in the trash some time ago.” To facilitate the project, the Inland Valley Development Agency on Wednesday approved an agreement with Hillwood that allows the company to begin predevelopment work as soon as the golf course closes. “This is a culmination of eight to nine months of work with Hillwood,” said Timothy J. Sabo, the development agency’s attorney. Construction should start “within the range of a year,” according to Don Rogers, the development agency’s interim executive director. He said Hillwood intends to build “a major complex of buildings there.”