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Real Estate Services
The Board of Supervisors has placed San Bernardino County at the top of the leaderboard toward becoming the first Southern California home of Topgolf, an internationally renowned technology-enabled entertainment experience.
“Topgolf will be an outstanding entertainment asset that will attract people from all over Southern California to San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, whose Fourth District includes the future Topgolf site on county-owned land in Ontario. “The Topgolf concept appeals to all ages, and everyone will benefit from the revenue that will be directed toward the betterment of the county’s Regional Parks system.”
The county and Topgolf, a hugely popular sports and entertainment attraction with locations around the globe, entered into a 20-year lease agreement in 2019. Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the deal is now set to go forward with construction activities beginning this month and completion anticipated for early 2022. The development is on 13.7 acres of undeveloped county-owned land adjacent to Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park at the corner of Archibald Avenue and Fourth Street in the City of Ontario.
The agreement will bring in more than $625,000 a year to support the county’s system of regional parks.
Topgolf plans to build a nearly 600,000-square foot facility at the county site, which will be similar in size and scope to other multi-level Topgolf venues. The new location will feature 102 hitting bays on three floors, plus a full-service restaurant and bar and event space for corporate and social events. The venue also plans to incorporate a mini-golf component at a later date for all to enjoy.
In addition to the jobs that will be created during construction, Topgolf will hire more than 400 employees once the venue is completed and operational.
Chairman Hagman came up with the idea of using the land for a golf-related attraction and shared that with the County Real Estate Services Department, which approached Topgolf.
“The County Real Estate Services Department deserves a lot of praise and credit for reaching out to Topgolf with the idea of making county-owned land the company’s first Southern California location,” Chairman Hagman said.
“Topgolf chose the County of San Bernardino due to its convenient regional location to the Inland Empire, strong retail performance, and large and growing population base,” said Chris Callaway, Chief Development Officer with Topgolf. “Being positioned just north of I-10 and west of I-15 enables our Topgolf venue to connect with and entertain many communities and businesses throughout the region.”
“San Bernardino County has been great to work with and has been very business-friendly. Throughout the deal process, they solved issues as we progressed in finalizing the transaction, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership together,” Callaway added.
The Topgolf concept is built on a foundation of community, inclusivity and fun, and is truly a game for everyone. The technology-driven experience is centered on guests hitting patented, microchipped golf balls into targets on the outfield while playing classic Topgolf games. Guests can also enjoy a chef-driven food and beverage menu in their outdoor hitting bays while safely enjoying the outdoor fun. What started as a simple idea to enhance the game of golf has now evolved into a best-in-class hospitality entertainment venue centered on a game that is accessible and appealing to all, regardless of skill or ability. The dynamic atmosphere, engaging staff, and innovative games combine to provide a truly unique experience.
Over the course of the initial 20-year ground lease, once construction is completed and Topgolf is open for business, the county will receive more than $625,000 in annual revenue, benefiting the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system, https://parks.sbcounty.gov/, which includes nine regional parks throughout the county and several other recreational attractions.
The County Real Estate Services Department first approached Topgolf more than four years ago. Given the location of the land coupled with the socio-economic demographics of the area and recreational use restrictions, the county believed that Topgolf was an ideal fit for the site and developed a strategy to attract the company.
Part of the county’s initial outreach strategy to Topgolf included the county retaining the services of JLL Retail Group in Ontario. On the county’s behalf, JLL made contact with Topgolf’s brokerage representatives from The Retail Connection out of Dallas, Texas. Those connections facilitated the county’s introduction to Topgolf, which led to initial discussions and negotiations for Topgolf to lease the land from the county. This strategic initiative by the county resulted in the ground lease deal with Topgolf that was approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 30, 2019.
A county government project manager has received statewide recognition for his exemplary public service.
Brenton Rankin, a project manager with the county’s Real Estate Services Department Project Management Division, has received one of only three Excellence in Service awards given out each year by the California County General Services Association.
“Your demonstrated ability to manage logistically challenging and high-profile projects shows a high level of dedication and responsiveness to your customers’ needs,” the organization said in recognizing Brenton.
Brenton effectively manages a diverse roster of project types and brings a unique skill set to each, such as managing challenging projects within high-security detention facilities, upgrades at the Emergency Operations Center and new fueling stations, while managing and mitigating fiduciary risks and providing outstanding customer service.
One example of Brenton’s accomplishments is the Cafe and Conference Rooms Remodel Project, which converted a long-time restaurant into several multi-purpose conference rooms and a coffee bar within the County Government Center in San Bernardino. The project had the added challenge of having to serve as a temporary meeting place for the Board of Supervisors while the board’s chambers undergo renovation.
Brenton was tasked with keeping all construction efforts, audio/visual upgrades and furnishings on schedule to ensure the timely and seamless transition of the temporary board chambers functions into the temporary space to match the start of the chambers renovation project. Brenton worked closely with the county government leadership team to facilitate the scheduling and logistics of all public hearings, meetings and events.
Brenton is one of approximately 22,000 San Bernardino County government employees who define their job as creating “a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being.”
On Monday, Oct. 23, the County will begin Phase 1(b) of a street improvement master plan project at the downtown San Bernardino campus and parking availability on several streets and parking lots in and around the Government Center will be impacted.
Specifically, street parking will be permanently eliminated along Mountain View Avenue between Fifth Street and Third Street, and Fourth Street from Mountain View Avenue to Sierra Way.
Portions of Mountain View Avenue from Fifth Street to Third Street, and Fourth Street from Mountain View Avenue to Sierra Way, will be closed to vehicle traffic throughout the duration of Phase 1 (b) which is expected to be completed in July 2018.
Public parking will still be available in the lot north of the Public Health building on Fourth Street and Mountain View Avenue and additional parking will be available on the northwest corner of Arrowhead Avenue and Court Street. Sidewalks, crosswalks and entrances to County buildings and parking lots along the streets will be open to traffic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The project is part of the overall master plan for the downtown Government Center Complex to modernize the campus and improve accessibility with the current street design. The plan includes new drought-tolerant landscaping, two-way drive lanes on Mountain View, a roundabout on Mountain View and 4th Street, street lighting and improvement of the overall aesthetics of the campus. Phase 1 (b) has a total project budget of $3.7 million.
The Proposed Master Plan for the Government Center Complex Improvement Project is available here.
If you’ve seen the temporary fencing and heard the sound of heavy equipment around the County Government Center in downtown San Bernardino in recent weeks, you’ve witnessed County Government’s latest effort to spruce up its portion of the city and use natural resources more wisely in the years ahead.
The water-guzzling lawns, shrubs and distressed trees on the west, north and east sides of the County Government Center will be replaced with drought-tolerant plants, walking paths, and seating areas. Healthy trees, including the signature Canary Island date palms, will be preserved, as will the water-wise recirculating fountain in front of the Government Center. Work began in August and is scheduled to continue through December.
“This is an exciting and very important project,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Everyone has a responsibility to use our natural resources wisely, and County Government is taking the lead by creating what will be a beautiful drought-resistant landscaping project in the heart of downtown San Bernardino.”
The landscaping around the County Government Center hasn’t been updated since the building was designed and constructed in the mid-1980s, a time when lush green lawns were still the norm despite the tremendous amount of water needed to maintain them.
Decades of trying to survive in San Bernardino’s summer climate eventually took their toll on some of the tall, non-native trees surrounding the County Government Center and rendered them ill. Their removal as part of the landscaping project has already opened up views of the property. A long-needed trimming of the remaining healthy trees has also improved the look of the Government Center early in the project.
The County of San Bernardino was honored on June 8 as “Employer of the Year for a Small Company” by the Inland Empire Chapter of the International Right of Way Association. Although San Bernardino County is the Inland Empire’s largest employer, fewer than 30 of the county’s 22,000 employees work on right-of-way matters, thus the “small company” designation. Caltrans received the large company honors this year.
In addition, San Bernardino County Real Property Agent Kelley Kelley was installed as the chapter president. “I have a past real estate client who would say, ‘I am just glad to be here and be a part of it all.’ This is exactly how I feel, today, and always,” Kelley said. “I feel so proud to be a part of San Bernardino County Real Estate Services and the IRWA. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to learn and grow with the county and to successfully lead Chapter 57 for the upcoming 2016/2017 year.”
Also, County Real Estate Services Manager Marilee Rendulich earned the annual President’s Award, and Real Property Agent Nancy Summers earned the Senior Right of Way Professional Designation. This designation is the highest achievement that can be earned and requires approximately 200 hours of coursework related to the right of way industry. It typically takes about five years to achieve this designation.
Pictured is the County’s Real Estate Services Acquisitions/Right of Way Team, left to right, Real Property Agent Michele Cohn, Real Estate Services Director Terry Thompson, Real Estate Services Assistant Director Janet Lowe, Kelley, Rendulich and Summers. Other team members present were Real Property Agents Brandon Ocasio and Jennifer Goodell.
The International Right of Way Association is a professional organization comprised of global infrastructure real estate practitioners. IRWA serves professionals who acquire, manage and transfer the land rights needed for building and maintaining energy and transportation infrastructure.
Terry W. Thompson, an experienced and highly qualified manager with deep roots in the region’s business community, has been tapped to serve as the County’s Director of Real Estate Services, succeeding the retiring Dave Slaughter.
The Board of Supervisors last week unanimously approved an employment contract with Thompson, who begins with the County on March 10.
Thompson will oversee 153 employees in Architecture and Engineering, Facilities Management and the Real Estate Division with multiple budgets that aggregate to nearly $380 million. Currently, Architecture and Engineering is managing 275 projects throughout the county, Facilities Management maintains and repairs County-owned facilities, and Real Estate Services manages budgets for rent payments and property management totaling $58.4 million.
“We are excited to have a professional of Terry’s caliber join the organization,” said County Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux. “His experience and business background will make for a seamless transition and help the department continue to successfully manage projects.”
Thompson has nearly 30 years of experience in real estate management, development, acquisitions and leasing in the commercial real estate business throughout Southern California.
He is a member and past president of the Southern California chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), a prestigious commercial real estate development association.
Thompson comes to the County from W3 Partners LLC in Aliso Viejo where he was managing principal. Over the years, Thompson has managed assets and portfolios in excess of 13 million square feet of commercial properties, coordinated the marketing of land sales and handled a variety of acquisition activities.
Thompson graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business.