A push by city officials to resuscitate Coachella’s downtown corridor could get an additional boost from a proposed marijuana dispensary planned for Sixth Street near Grapefruit Boulevard.
The Coachella City Council will consider a rezoning effort at Wednesday’s council meeting, along with a conditional use permit application that calls for a nearly 3,000-square-foot dispensary, 4,500-square-foot coffee shop, area for an art display, and room for office and event space.
The proposed Kismet Coachella Dispensary — which would be the city’s third storefront marijuana dispensary, and the second in downtown — would be located about a mile away from the Irvine-based company’s nearly 90,000-square-foot growing facility on Avenue 48.
The proposed project site comprises four buildings that have stood dormant for nearly 30 years within a downtown corridor that until recent years showed little hope of an economic resurgence. For the past six years, city officials have emphasized bringing new development into the area, including revamping the Grapefruit Corridor along the old Highway 111, according to Mayor Steve Hernandez.
“It was shuttered. You had empty storefronts,” he said. “(Now) we are allowing bars, more restaurants and waving some of the parking requirements.”
City officials are also looking toward cannabis to fill in the gaps in an economy that remains mostly centered around non-cannabis agriculture.
In 2019, the city netted about $600,000 in cannabis-related revenue, Hernandez said.
Two years ago, Coachella refined its cannabis ordinance to favor dispensary applicants that provide community benefits on-site outside of just marijuana sales.
Hernandez said the art gallery, plus the office and event space, could help spur local tourism.
Lighthouse Cannabis Dispensary on Avenue 48 shares members of its ownership team with Hotel Indigo next door, which, once opened, will become Coachella’s first hotel.
“We are not letting the industry off the hook,” Hernandez said. “What we have told the industry is help us redevelop our downtown, and our Grapefruit Corridor.”
The Planning Commission approved the project in November.
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