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Three Palm Springs area development projects to watch in 2014

The U.S. economy is gaining steam, and the Coachella Valley continues its aggressive growth trajectory. Here are three exciting local projects to keep an eye on this year that promise to bring more visitors and spending to the area, as well as help improve the overall quality of life for valley residents:

Indian Wells Tennis Garden expansion

In March 2014, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home of the BNP Paribas Open, the most-attended ATP World Tour and WTA tennis tournament in the world, is scheduled to complete its $70 million dollar expansion, featuring a new permanent Stadium #2 with 8,000 seats, two new restaurants (including a Nobu Sushi restaurant courtside), and many other amenities.

Owned since 2010 by Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO and third wealthiest person in the U.S, the facility drew more than 380,000 fans in 2013, making it the most attended tennis tournament in the world behind the four Grand Slams. Fans and local residents alike are eager to see the unveiling of the new Tennis Garden expansion, which promises great things for both the event and the local economy.

Desert Fashion Plaza redevelopment project in Palm Springs

The long anticipated revamping of the vacant Desert Fashion Plaza site appears to be on track for groundbreaking this year, with completion slated to occur by the end of 2015. The 13.2-acre downtown site, which spans the area south of the Hyatt Regency on Palm Canyon Drive down to Tahquitz Canyon Way, will be anchored by the four-star Kimpton Palomar, the first new hotel to be built in Palm Springs for decades.

In addition to the hundreds of construction and full-time jobs the project promises to bring, the Palomar's 190 rooms, rooftop bar and pool, restaurant, and more than 24,000 square feet of event and meeting space will help improve Palm Springs' standing as an attractive convention destination.

Coachella Valley's first Whole Foods to open in Palm Desert in early 2014

Residents who have been petitioning Whole Foods Markets for years to open a store in the Coachella Valley will finally have their wish granted. Announced by Whole Foods in late 2012, the 30,000–square-foot organic and natural foods supermarket is scheduled to open in early 2014 at 4419 Town Center Way in Palm Desert, California, in the One Eleven Town Center. Expected to create 150 jobs for the local community, the project is part of a larger retail expansion in the immediate area, which includes the valley's first Nordstrom Rack, a new 34,000-square-foot location scheduled to open in Spring 2014, a HomeGoods store, Riverside County's first Walmart Neighborhood Market (January 2014), a 47,000-square-foot Dick's Sporting Goods store (October 2013), and a 50,000-square-foot PGA Tour Superstore (November 2013).

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