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San Bernardino to obtain last piece of Carousel Mall site from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in land swap

By in Press Enterprise on October 31, 2017

By Brian Whitehead

A land swap between the city of San Bernardino and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians could give the former full control of the 43-acre Carousel Mall and the latter room to expand.

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the City Council is expected to decide whether to exchange 115 acres of vacant land in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains for the 2.48-acre former JCPenney property downtown.

The swap would allow the city to move forward with its plan to redevelop the mall.

“The entire Carousel Mall project has a lot of moving parts, and this is a big piece,” Councilwoman Virginia Marquez said. “I believe it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.”

The city owns all property within the mall site except the former JCPenney building, which was purchased by a San Manuel Band of Mission Indians development firm in 2008, five years after the store’s shuttering.

The city, meanwhile, obtained the 115 acres north of Sterling Avenue and Foothill Drive in a 2016 land swap with the Board of Water Commissioners, which deemed the land excess property no longer needed for water uses.

The Tribe fancies that site because it is reaching capacity to the north and east, a staff report says.

The JCPenney and Foothill Drive properties were recently appraised at $1.8 million and $980,000, respectively. City staffers say the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is less concerned about getting equal value in a swap than it is acquiring space for potential residential, school or community use.

The exchange would allow both parties to achieve their goals, a staff report says.

Marquez called the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians “an excellent partner.”

“I’ve witnessed firsthand their willingness to work with our city over the years,” she said. “It’s one of the strongest partnerships San Bernardino has.”

The City Council meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday, […]    

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