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Palm Springs' New Downtown Project to Open Mid-November

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The real estate firm at the center of a major downtown Palm Springs redevelopment project put out a list today of tenants slated to begin operating as early as September, encompassing restaurants, retail shops and a hotel.

Grit Development, formerly Wessman Development, which recently rebranded amidst bribery allegations against its former chief John Wessman, announced that the long-running revitalization project was nearing completion.

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``After a decade of planning and hard work, we're thrilled to share the project is near completion and the line-up of tenants to date,'' said Grit Development President Michael Braun, who took over following Wessman's departure. ``Dozens of tenants will open this summer with the Kimpton Rowan Hotel officially opening to the public in September. We are on track for a full grand opening in mid-November.''

Other tenants include H&M; Free People; Francesca's; Kiehl's; Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar; Starbuck's Reserve; Stout Burgers & Beers; and Il
Corso. Furniture retailer West Elm opened last year, while Blaze Pizza began operating in March.

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``This line-up shows the quality and diversity of tenants to come,'' Braun said. ``Once complete, this project will put Palm Springs back on the map as a top destination. Visitors can enjoy staying at luxurious accommodations, shopping eclectic brands and dining at incredible restaurants -- all within walking distance and surrounded by beautiful scenery and views few can match.''

The long-running downtown project continued despite felony charges of bribery and conspiracy against Wessman and fellow developer Richard Meaney, who are accused of paying former Mayor Steve Pougnet $375,000 to help push through downtown development projects that required council approval.

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Wessman and Meaney both face 12 years in state prison if convicted, while Pougnet would face 19 years if found guilty of corruption by a public official and perjury. The trio are slated to be arraigned in Riverside court on Friday.

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