The Downtown San Bernardino Specific Plan envisions the area to be the go-to urban center of the Inland Empire for working, living, socializing, shopping, dining, entertainment, and cultural pastimes. Much of the area is already developed so the Specific Plan includes reuse of existing buildings as well as demolition and replacement of buildings to meet the intent of the Specific Plan.
The proposed land use districts would be the new land use and zoning designations for the Specific Plan Area.
North Residential – These two neighborhoods are located at the northwest and northeast corners of the Specific Plan Area. They are predominantly residential, comprised of a mix of smaller lots occupied by single-family houses, small apartment buildings, and some larger senior-living communities. There is a limited number of commercial uses within each neighborhood, but the predominant non-residential uses are institutional, with the Juanita B. Jones Elementary School and Norton Element School occupying the greatest area. Compatible infill development of modestly sized, 2- to 3-story residential buildings is the expected future, in addition to the conservation of existing residential uses, especially owner-occupied units.
North Gateway – This district encompasses properties fronting E and D Street between 8th and 5th Street. In addition to existing institutional uses, such as the Feldheym Library, the historic US Post Office and San Bernardino Police Department Headquarters, the district contains a number of vacant or under-utilized buildings and parcels. The future vision for this district includes 4- to 5-story mixed-use structures that promote pedestrian activity along E and D Streets as well as residential infill. At the intersection of 8th Street, new developments anchor a neighborhood commercial center and create a gateway feature to the Downtown. This new neighborhood center potentially incorporates an additional SBX station at 8th Street.
Freeway Commercial – This district accommodates various auto-oriented businesses such as the Fairview Ford Dealership, carwashes, and drive-through fast-food restaurants that benefit from immediate proximity to the I-215 freeway and the freeway on-off-ramps at 5th Street. Low-rise 2-story commercial structures are permitted in this district.
Transit Neighborhood – Much of the new development and change in Downtown is expected in this neighborhood, which include a major portion of the Carousel Mall site. This neighborhood permits a range of uses, but with an emphasis on high-intensity residential to rake advantage of proximity to both the Transit Center and Downtown Core. As this area re-develops, big-box retail with surface parking lots will be replaced with 4- to 8-story mixed-use structures with pedestrian-oriented sidewalk frontage facing tree-lined streets and small pocket parks or plazas, within an emphasis on residential and mixed-use.
Downtown Core – This is the center of Downtown, with the most intense concentration of commercial uses, government offices, entertainment and cultural offerings. The City Hall and foreign consulates are located here, as many of Downtown’s historic structures. Residential is allowed within the Downtown Core, but it is not predominant land use. The Downtown Core also includes a significant portion of the Carousel Mall site. The future of the Downtown Core includes additional mixed-use with an emphasis on residential; high-rise buildings are encouraged.
County Center – These three blocks contain the primary County of San Bernardino administrative offices, including the County Courthouse and the Superior Court of California. With the construction of new County offices in this district, County facilities will be better integrated with the rest of downtown.
County Mixed-Use Campus – Adjacent to the County Center, on land owned by the County, is a new mixed-use campus consisting of housing, offices, and other commercial uses, as well as limited government uses. Overlooking both Meadowbrook Park to the south and Secombe Lake to the north, this campus will be built out with 4- to 6-story mixed-use buildings according to a coordinated master plan.
Rail Adjacent – Located adjacent to the railroad tracks, these properties were historically developed with industrial uses needing rail access. As Downtown develops, this district will maintain an industrial character, but transition from heavy industry to both office and artisan-type manufacturing such as breweries that will both enhance the Downtown and accept rail-adjacencies. Residential is permitted in this district with conditions.
Transit Center – The Transit Center district is focused on the Downtown San Bernardino Transit Center. While much of the land in this district is dedicated to transportation uses––rail platforms, bus-layovers, kiss-n-ride drop-offs––other platforms will be improved with 4- to 6-story transit-supporting developments adjacent to the Transit Center. Enhancing pedestrian connections from transit stations to the surrounding downtown is one of the primary goals of this district.
The proposed project would result in a net addition of 14,194 residential units and 11,780,515 square feet of non-residential uses.