Redlands, CA- Historic Citrus Growing Center of Southern California

Its difficult to pick out precisely the urban core of Redlands but I did my best using San Mateo and Center St. as the western border, Highland Ave as the southern, Brookside and Lugonia as the northern, and University and Redlands as the eastern.

Development of Redlands started in the 1880s with the arrival of the Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads, connecting Southern California to San Francisco and Salt Lake. Immigrants quickly discovered the area with its hot, dry climate and ready access to water was the ideal center for citrus production. The City was named “Redlands” after the color of the adobe soil. The Pacific Electric Railway completed an interurban connection between Los Angeles and San Bernardino in 1914, providing a convenient, speedy connection to the fast-growing city of Los Angeles. Redlands reached 2,000 people by 1890 and 10,500 by 1910, 14K in 1940 and population steadily grew as it continued to sprawl. Redlands now hosts just over 71K souls.

Downtown is pretty spreadout centered along State Street, a very intact main street. Orange St also has some nice Dwtn fabric. The rest of Dtwn is a hodgepodge of urban and auto centric blocks. Also included in this rather large evaluation area is the gorgeous residential Smiley Park Historic District with especially beautiful Victorians along Highland Avenue. North of  I-10 is a more modest district with a mix of attractive 1920s-1940s homes and gritty areas. This is also where Redland University is located. Really no urban biz district of note in this sub-district. Redland does very well, from an urban perspective, with racial and economic diversity, a decent amount of dedicated affordable hsg, good parks and schools, good cultural and retail amenities. The main areas for Dwtn Redlands to improve is more density, better public transit access, more affordable housing, better tree cover in areas outside of the Smiley Park Historic District, and better urban in-fill in the Dwtn area.

Click here to view my Redlands Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Several decent bike trails but no dedicated bike stations here.
* Great racial and economic diversity and good generational diversity as well.
* Good array of walkable schools in central Redlands with generally good ratings.
* A couple sections of Central Redlands are a bit rough north of the highway but generally a safe community.
* A decent amount of dedicated affordable hsg sites in Redlands.
* Several solid parks in Central Redlands and pretty well distributed.
* Cultural amenities include a good # of restaurants, bars, and cafes, several art galleries, several performing arts theaters (including Redland University), a local cinema, a couple local museums, several live music venues & night clubs. Most of these amenities are concentrated Dwtn.
* Retail amenities include several supermarkets & drug stores, plenty of boutiques/consignment stores, several antique stores, banks, a couple bookstores, plenty of gyms & dessert joints. Also within Dwtn is a post office, office depot, public library. The Mountain Grove Shopping Center (a healthy power center complete with several dept. store and lots of retail) is just NW of the evaluation area. Much of this retail is auto oriented.
* State Street hosts the best urban form, followed by Orange St. Redlands Blvd is very auto centric.
* Excellent pockets of historic architecture in central Redlands, esp. in the Smiley Park Historic District. Other areas are so .

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Density isn’t that great.
* Sidewalks are generally there. Up to date ADA infrastructure is hit or miss.
* Public transit is so .
* Decent access to Dwtn Riverside as its only a 20 min drive but only ~10-15KK work in Dwtn Riverside. Also terrible public transit connection. A drive to Dwtn LA is 1 Hr. + and 2 HR+ by transit.
* Not a ton of rental product but what exist is pretty expensive, although not too bad for California standards. 1-beds lease btwn 1.5K-2K, 2-beds anywhere btwn 1.5K-2.5K, 3-beds in the 2Ks & 3KS.
* For sale is also expensive but some moderately priced options. 1-bed condos/small homes sell anywhere btwn 200K-500K, 2-beds anywhere btwn 300K-800K, 3 & 4 beds btwn 400K-1 M with some higher end product reaching the mid 1 Ms.
* Modern in-fill is mostly unattractive in-fill architecture.
* Tree cover is good in the Smiley Park Historic District. Not so good Dwtn or north of Dwtn. 

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