Downtown Redlands Redevelopment

Redlands, California

Redlands, California, sits at the base of the San Bernardino mountains, nearly 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles and 45 miles west of Palm Springs. As one of the oldest cities in California, Redlands is named for its rich, red soil and known for its historic commercial district, quaint downtown streets, citrus industry and the Santa Fe Depot, which holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over time, the community had seen a decline in its urban core, with aging buildings and infrastructure that failed to keep pace with current demands.

Michael Baker served as the planning consultant for the city on a major redevelopment effort to serve the community's housing, mobility and commercial needs, while honoring its historic past.

Our team helped to facilitate land use entitlements, environmental review, stakeholder coordination and historic renovation approvals for the multi-phase revitalization effort.

A cornerstone of the project was supporting the city’s return to its transit-oriented roots. Train lines began serving Redlands in the late 1800s, connecting the citrus industry to destinations throughout the nation. The rehabilitation of the historic Santa Fe Depot for reuse, and development of an adjacent light rail platform, brings commuter and passenger rail service to the city.

Project proponents saw the depot renovation as a catalyst to spur infill renewal of the city’s urban core and began planning for commercial, recreational and entertainment uses. Michael Baker was retained to consolidate the multiple infill and rehabilitation projects under one project management team that was responsible for coordinating city departments and the development team, facilitating public discourse and delivering land use entitlements and environmental clearances. Coining the term “concierge planning,” the Michael Baker team focused on guiding project proponents through the city’s development process.

A new four-level parking garage complete with bus service, bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging, and the new Third Street mixed-used development at the Downtown station serves as a mobility hub and gives residents and visitors the ability to park once for access to shopping, city amenities and public transportation access.  

Other improvements encompass new or rehabilitated buildings for local restaurants and shopping, including a coffee shop, brewery and distillery, as well as recalibrated streets for walking and bicycling. The enhancements create a mixed-use, multi-modal community that will serve Redlands residents and visitors now and into the future.


“As planning consultants, we are thrilled to help the City of Redlands continue to thrive, bringing our expertise, knowledgeable and relationship building skills to this important revitalization effort that will serve the community now and for years to come. Often, at Michael Baker, we work where we live and play. It’s incredibly rewarding to see our projects not only come to life but become part of our lives.”

- Project Manager

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