Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Barstow, California–No Reason for Second Guessing


Barstow’s civic, business and government leaders want to know what kind of business amenities its residents want. They are sending out a survey with email blasts and social media posts they say will arm them with a forceful tool to boost local development.

The survey, developed by Barstow Community College, now widely distributed by school, government, civic, and business leaders, “will help get Barstow a second look” from crucial business decision-makers, said Mayor Paul Anthony Courtney.

The 22-question survey is an effort to determine what kinds of businesses residents want in the 112-acre, fully approved specific plan known as The Shops at Spanish Trail, located at the interchange of Avenue L and Interstate 15. The average daily traffic count adjacent to the 800,000-square-foot project is 86,000 vehicles.

“The survey will help create a better Barstow through an inclusive approach for shaping our future,” Courtney said.

“I really believe that all of the leadership within the Barstow region and the rest of the High Desert needs to know more about our citizens in Barstow, what they are looking for, what type of shopping experience they want and what activities are essential for them. I believe that working together, we can accomplish a lot in the Mojave River Valley,” said Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR, Managing Member of Barstow Spanish Trail LLC

Eva Bagg, Barstow Community College president-superintendent, said, “we see the development project as not only a brick in the developing foundation of economic development for Barstow, but also a part of a longer-term vision of creating spaces for residents that enhance the quality of living for people, so they don’t so often feel the need to travel outside of Barstow and ‘down the hill’ to find those experiences.”

Senior housing assisted living, and market-rate multi-family rentals as among the potential land uses.

Brady said he is pursuing both Hispanic and traditional grocery stores and has already completed a thorough grocery store study to help market the project.

“It shows the need for an additional grocery outlet to service Barstow,” Brady said.

Other retail uses could include health and fitness providers, auto services, furniture, household items, indoor recreational activities, and locally sourced goods. Among other questions, the survey asks which retailers, restaurants, hotels, and recreational outlets residents would like to see in the project.

“The project is located with great exposure to travelers and is revitalizing the West End of Barstow that has not been promoted well for decades,” said Ken Young, Barstow Community College interim director of maintenance and operations and a lifelong Barstow resident.

Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce and Barstow Community College is joining Brady’s Victorville-based, The Bradco Companies, in an informal partnership to develop and conduct the survey. The college will compile the survey results, officials said.

Said Eugene Butticci, Executive Director of the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce: “Regardless of what gets built here, it needs to be geared to and supported by residents. We need to find out what they want and not second-guess.”

“The chamber posted the survey on its Facebook page, sent out an email blast to some 2,000 in addition to emailing the survey to its members”, Butticci said.

“Barstow Community College distributed the survey to staff and students via its internal email system and posted it on its social media accounts,” said Amanda Simpson, the spokeswoman.

Brady said his Victorville-based The Bradco Companies is sending out numerous email blasts and mailing the study’s announcement and QR Code to access it to 1,600 business owners in Barstow.

“We understand the challenges Barstow has had trying to attract development,” Brady said, adding that the survey could become an annual occurrence.

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Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.