On June 11, Riverside City Council voted to proceed with a development project that would repurpose “old bus station land” that was used as a temporary parking lot next to the Main Library into a combination of student housing, retail and office space. 

Riverside City Council voted unanimously to transform the old bus station land next to the new Main Library in Downtown Riverside into “39 units of mixed-use student housing, retail and office space.” The 1.7 acres of land will be sold to Pelican Communities LLC, who, as a part of the deal, are additionally set to construct 60 parking spaces for the library’s use in exchange for the $200 they bought the land for. The parking lot is estimated at $2.4 million in value, and the land’s value is about $1.83 million.

Picture courtesy of Johnson Favaro

Regarding student housing, the units are exempt from the state affordable housing requirements; however, the developers have “voluntarily designat[ed] 10% of the units as affordable”. Furthermore, as the project is located in the heart of downtown Riverside, the available housing will be available for students regardless of their institution. Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson commented on the project, “[t]his project will complement our main library beautifully, injecting vitality into our downtown… The entire community benefits from new student housing, plus retail office[s], all within walking distance of parks and restaurants.”

This 78 million dollar project is expected to create two hundred construction jobs, and generate $567,661 in annual revenue.