I-Team takes an inside look at the Coachella Valley Arena land agreement

When the Oak View Group not too long ago broke floor on the new, $300-million privately-funded area, it did so on land owned by the Berger Foundation. The non-public, non-profit basis determined to lease the 43-acre-site to Oak View Group after the firm’s partnership with the Agua Caliente tribe to construct an area in downtown palm springs dissolved.

“We wouldn’t be right here at the moment, I can actually let you know this, if it wasn’t for the Berger Foundation,” stated Tim Lieweke, CEO of Oak View Group.

I-Team investigator Peter Daut spoke with the Berger Foundation’s president and chairman of the board, Chris McGuire, to get extra particulars.

Peter, “Tell us how this agreement with the Oak View Group happened. Who approached who and when?”

“They knew about us, we knew about them. they usually knew we had a bit of land, and it had already been zoned and deliberate, we started speaking,” McGuire stated.

Peter, “So, principally they got here to you after the take care of the tribe fell via?”

“Correct. proper,” McGuire responded. “We are simply the landlords and it is a lease. we’re not a accomplice of the operation of the area by any means.”

Peter requested, “How does a personal, non-profit basis come into an agreement with a for-profit area?”

“It’s a lease and it gives us passive revenue. as a personal basis, we now have a corpus of cash. Mr. Berger made his cash in actual property. all of us which can be on the govt committee have been in actual property and development. that is our forte. we’re not funding bankers,” McGuire responded. “And what we do is we attempt to take our cash, make investments it the place we get a return, and that return permits us to 1, develop our basis and permits us to have funds to pay out grants and charitable bills with out depleting our pocketbook.”

At the latest groundbreaking occasion, Riverside County Supervisor Manuel Perez additionally revealed this.

“I suppose now we’re proud house owners or one thing of the type of a brand new firetruck,” Perez stated.

“Who is donating the fireplace truck to riverside county, and the way did that contribution come to be?,” Peter requested McGuire.

“CalFire, which is the company out right here, they wished to be assured that all the pieces was okay with the area,” McGuire stated. “They, as a part of their eventual planning and approval course of, strongly hinted {that a} fireplace truck could be good. and we volunteered to make a donation on behalf of oak view group, and ourselves, and the neighborhood, as a result of it is exhausting to consider {that a} firetruck prices over $1.5 million.”

Peter then requested, “How does the area partnership profit the Coachella Valley?”

“We’ve given away over $650 million in the Coachella Valley in the time we have been right here, so one which helps the neighborhood and secondly, by bringing such an fascinating and thrilling venue to the valley, it is going to assist not solely hockey followers, however music and ice skating and membership hockey, and all the different issues. so due to this fact, we hope it would profit all of the Coachella Valley,” McGuire stated.

The Berger Foundation additionally hopes to lease further land close to the area to inns and companies. The area is predicted to open in the fall of 2022.

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