New homeless funding, City sales tax report, Homeless housing contract terminated

Redlands Weekly News Update


City council terminates contract with Shangri-La Industries, the developer for Redlands homeless housing project

The California attorney general filed a lawsuit against the developer for multiple breaches of contract

REDLANDS, Calif. — Redlands City Council voted unanimously during their April 16 meeting to terminate a contract with Shangri-La Industries and Step Up on Second Street, Inc. for a breach in agreement involving Redlands’ permanent supportive housing project, Step Up in Redlands. 

Why it matters: Step Up in Redlands, located at 1675 Industrial Avenue, provides supportive housing to approximately 130 residents, most of whom were previously homeless. Shangri-La, the project's developer, defaulted on several loans connected to the property and breached additional agreements, prompting the city to take action and break the contract. However, this leaves Step Up's future uncertain.

Details: In March of 2022, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) awarded Redlands, along with its partners Shangri-la Industries, a for-profit developer, and Step Up on Second Street grant funding of about $30 million under the Homekey Program to renovate 98 motel rooms.

The grant agreement between Shangri-La and Redlands required the city to provide a matching contribution and commit over $3 million in project funding to be disbursed directly to Shangri La in seven annual payments. The Step Up in Redlands facility opened successfully and was occupied by February of 2023. 

Since the start of the agreement, the city made two annual payments of $510,497 to Shangri-La, expending a total of $1,020,994 from the operating subsidy, according to the City Council staff report.

Funding for the project, including the HCD's grant money, the city's operating subsidy, and other funding sources secured by Shangri-La, was initially expected to last at least five years.

The city, however, discovered that Shangri-La had at least seven different contractual defaults and sent the developer a notice in November of 2023 demanding the defaults be cured. 

Read more about Shangri-La's legal troubles that led to the breach of contract and how the city is working to secure the future of the Step Up in Redlands here.

City council terminates contract with Shangri-La Industries, the developer for Redlands homeless housing project
The California attorney general filed a lawsuit against the developer for multiple breaches of contract


✈️ Despite rise in passenger, cargo air traffic, SBD airport still needs radar: Pilots and airport officials in Redlands and San Bernardino remain concerned about the lack of radar at the booming San Bernardino International Airport (SBD), which handles large-jet traffic.

Nearly 20,000 passengers have traveled through SBD since Breeze launched its service in August 2023. In 2022, SBD handled 1.39 billion pounds of all-cargo aircraft landed weight. That figure represents a 60% increase over 2021, the highest amount in the airport’s history. 

Despite this growth, the SBD control tower manages air traffic without a radar display in the control tower. Instead, controllers rely on binoculars and radios to direct traffic. 

According to Mark Gibbs, director of aviation at SBD, the airport is one of about 20 airports without radar in the control tower that have the air traffic volume to qualify for radar.

"It's unconscionable that we don't have radar," said Gibbs in a phone interview on April 4. "That's why we continue to push for it. It's the right thing to do."

Read more about how Redlands and San Bernardino aviation officials are working with Rep. Pete Aguilar to increase safety at SBD here.

Despite boom in air traffic, SBD airport remains without radar
Local aviation officials are joined by Rep. Aguilar and THUD in pushing for a solution.

💸 SB Awarded Homeless Funding: California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that nearly $200 million in state funding will be distributed to cities statewide to help move people out of homeless encampments and into housing. The awards were granted to 17 California communities, including Redlands neighbor San Bernardino, to help support local, on-the-ground operations to help transition unhoused individuals from encampments to more stable housing. Read more here.

Governor Newsom announces $200M in homeless funding, San Bernardino to receive $4.6M
Newsom calls for greater accountability and oversight on how local governments use state homeless funding.

🚒 $2.15M fire station renovation breaks ground: City officials and firefighters took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at Redlands Fire Station No. 262 on Monday, April 15. Remodel upgrades include modernizing restroom and dormitory facilities to accommodate both male and female candidates. Read more about the renovation plans and fire station before pictures here.

Groundbreaking held for local fire station renovations
Renovations to Redlands Fire Station No. 262 will improve living conditions to accommodate recruits from multiple genders

🚔 Man knocked unconscious after attack in DT Redlands: Redlands Police arrested a 35-year-old man from Colton for attempted murder following a violent assault in Downtown Redlands early April 14. The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. when officers responded to reports of an assault on 5th Street north of Citrus Avenue. Officers found the victim lying unresponsive on the sidewalk, bleeding from his head, according to Redlands Police Department. Read more here.

Man arrested for attempted murder in Downtown Redlands
The arrest followed an unprovoked attack Sunday morning, police say

🚔 Citrus Plaza armed robbery suspect arrested: The Redlands Police Department announced the arrest of a 17-year-old Moreno Valley teenager in connection with an armed robbery at Citrus Plaza in February. The incident happened Feb. 11 outside the Barnes and Noble. The victim said he was approached from behind by two suspects when one suspect tried to rip a gold chain off his neck, according to the Redlands Police Department. Read more about what led to the arrest here.


Measure T Oversight Committee presents report to City Council

Measure T, which imposes a one-cent sales tax, was passed by Redlands voters by 57.35% in November 2020. The tax generates roughly $20M a year in local funding. 

The City of Redlands Measure T Oversight Committee monitors how the city spends Measure T sales tax revenue and presents its conclusions to taxpayers. The committee also seeks "to be as advisory as we are evaluative."

The committee assesses all proposed and actual Measure T revenue spending by checking it against the language used in the Measure T Campaign. The campaign promised voters the money would do the following:

  • Restore city personnel to pre-pandemic and then pre-recession levels
  • Address homelessness
  • Maintain library services
  • Improve our parks
  • Fund public safety facilities and equipment
  • Support animal services.

Toni Momberger, the Measure T Oversight Committee chairwoman, presented the committee's findings and recommendations to the Redlands City Council on April 16, 2024. 

Read more about Measure T revenue and current and proposed spending here.  

OPINION | Oversight committee weighs in on city spending
By: Toni Momberger, chairwoman, Measure T Oversight Committee


📚 Library Days: Library Days on April 27, in the Smiley Park behind the library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.. This year’s theme is “Tell Your Volunteer Story @ AKSPL” - a celebration of volunteers and the work they do to support the library and our community. The event includes free In-N-Out and Happy Camper Creamery sponsored by Smiley Library, plus musical entertainment by Blue Hwy. Library Days is made possible through a generous grant from Esri. Read more here

🔵 Bingo Charity Fundraiser: The Bingo Night is back at the Royal Falconer Saturday, April 27 from 5:30 p.m -8 p.m. to support local youth programs. The event, sponsored by Redlands Sunrise Rotary, will benefit YouthHope and Rotary Youth Programs. The fun-filled evening includes Bingo games, opportunity drawings, and a "Special Bingo Bites Menu" curated by The Royal Falconer. Read more here

🎭 LifeHouse Theatre presents Fiddler on the Roof: Winner of nine Tony Awards, “Fiddler on the Roof” has touched audiences worldwide with its humor, warmth and honesty. This tale of Tevye the Dairyman and his family’s struggles in a changing Russia is a true musical theatre tradition. The show runs April 6 – May 12, 2024. Ticket information here

🏡 Eureka Street Walking Tour: The Redlands Area Historical Society continues its spring tours with a walking tour of Eureka Street starting from West Palm and Eureka Street going north to Home Place on April 27 at 10:00 a.m.  Fee for the tour is $10 members and $15 non-members. Read more here.

🍊 Guided Tour of Downtown Redlands: Redlands Visitor Center offers a guided 60 minute history tour of Downtown Redlands for up to six patrons daily by appointment. More information here.  

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