The Palm Springs City Council is having a good time at the Desert, Andaz hotel
The Palm Springs City Council approved changes to the former Andaz hotel and decided to cut ties with Well in the Desert’s no -service center service on Thursday night. It is also considering appointments with the city’s new Equity and Social Justice Committee.
Well is due to leave the Calle Encilia location on June 30 after the council voted in April to end the conditional use-permit for its current site and move the Well to the former Palm Springs Boxing Club.
But these plans were postponed after concerns arose at their June 10 meeting about the organization’s finances and operations.
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The council is cutting ties with the Well in the Desert
The council moved to cut ties with the Well in the Desert on Thursday, removing the nonprofit’s conditional use permit for its location on Calle Encilia and cutting the well from plans to move the services center without accommodation at the former Palm Springs Boxing Club near Palm Springs International Airport.
The decision before the council on Thursday was whether the Well permit for the Calle Encilia location should be extended until the end of September. Well is due to leave the location on June 30 after the council voted in April to end the conditional nonprofit use permit for the current site and move to the Boxing Club.
The discussion on moving the well began in March, after nearby businesses and residents increasingly complained that the Well was attracting crime and bringing quality of life issues to the nearby neighborhood. Palm Springs Police Captain Mike Kovaleff also called the increase in the number of calls for service in the area “unsustainable.”
But what began as a discussion on moving the well to a site farther from residential neighborhoods has turned into a referendum on the city’s relations with the organization amid allegations of financial mismanagement and operational issues. within the nonprofit. Council members raised concerns that the organization pays its staff less than the minimum wage and has not filed tax returns for 2019 and 2020, among other issues.
The Council eventually unanimously voted Thursday to allow the city manager to enter into a contract with Martha’s Village and Kitchen for the use of the Boxing Club to provide homeless services, instead of signing a operational agreements with both Martha’s and Well in the Desert.
The Council also gave the city manager the authority to extend the conditional permission to use the Well for the location of Calle Encilia for no more than 30 days in order to provide continuous service for the cityless population while the facility Boxing Club got up and running.
The Council approved a request to change development plans for the long-running hotel formerly known as Andaz.
The approved changes will remove the spa originally planned for the second floor of the hotel and replace it with 14 additional guest rooms, increasing the total number of guest rooms from 150 to 164.
City officials first approved plans for the hotel in 2014. Construction on the hotel began in 2016 and stopped in 2019, leaving the hotel incomplete. The Hall Group took over the hotel development in March 2020, and announced in April 2021 that construction will continue on the hotel next year, with an expected opening in December 2022.
The hotel was recently renamed as Thompson Palm Springs under the Hyatt’s Thompson Hotels brand.
“Seeing this project over the last few years on the council, it’s the most optimistic I’ve come across. I really appreciate the Hall Group coming in and investing and really moving it as fast as you’ve seen,” said Councilmember Geoff Kors .
The council heard an update about the city’s tourism and convention center, including a stop at the COVID-19 vaccine site at the convention center on June 30. An 850-member trade show plans to begin of a meeting there Monday, officials said.
This is an evolving story; check back for updates
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