A block of downtown Palm Springs is undergoing a transformation in hopes of revitalizing the neighborhood and attracting visitors with its nearby architecture, artwork, and restaurants.
“We just saw this and thought it was a really fantastic place to take pictures,” said James Collins, a resident who enjoys his free time in the city center.
Over the past year, the pandemic has prevented residents and visitors from enjoying what the streets have to offer.
“Oh we love shopping here, it’s just fantastic,” said Cathy Rycraft, who had lunch at Tommy Bahamas with her mother.
Now Michael Braun, President of Grit Development, formerly known as Wessman Development, is in charge of the project. He says his goal is to bring the community together.
“We call it the Block Palm Springs. This is the area where the community spends its time, this is the area where people socialize together and have conversations, ”Braun said.
Although it has been around for years, the renewed focus on the region hopes to bring more diversity and attract people of all ages.
“How do you engage with the next generation, through works of art? Works of art spark discussion. Some people like art, others don’t like a particular piece of art. that generates dialogue, ”Braun said.
Recent art installations have already attracted attention, including the controversial return of the Marilyn Monroe statue to the museum trail.
“Despite these obstacles, she generated a lot of traffic in restaurants, businesses and in her time embraced the LGBTQ community,” said Braun.
While plans for the statue are still pending, Braun says plans for the block continue to highlight inclusion and welcome for everyone in downtown Palm Springs.
“People are now embracing Palm Springs, they feel comfortable visiting here. It’s diverse, it’s not too homogeneous. I think that’s one of the main reasons people love to come to Palm Springs, ”Braun said.