91 High-End Apartments Open in Downtown Riverside
Riverside’s downtown historic core, which has been transforming for the past decade with new restaurants and entertainment options, saw the opening of its first new housing in the area.
Imperial Hardware Lofts celebrated a grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 16, for 91 high-end apartments at Main Street and University Avenue. The ground floor includes about 8,000 square feet of retail space, which The Salted Pig aims to anchor starting in 2019.
Downtown businesses and city officials refer to the location, a block from the Mission Inn, as “the intersection of commerce and culture,” and they hope it will continue downtown’s transformation into a trendy, 24-hour entertainment district while helping ease the city’s housing crunch.
The building incorporates the historic facade of Imperial Hardware, which was built in 1900, and rebuilt after a fire in the 1930s. But the project represents major change for Riverside, Mayor Rusty Bailey said.
“This is the evolution of our city,” Bailey said, contrasting it with his youth, when his father told him not to go downtown after 5 p.m. “Now look at this – people are competing to live here and pay a premium for it.”
Rent for studio apartments are in the range of $1,630, with two-bedroom units going for as much as $3,860, according to the development’s website.
That represents opportunity for the rest of downtown, said Darren Conkerite, who’s owned Back to the Grind coffeehouse since 1996.
“I hope they thrive and bring a caliber of individual that doesn’t pinch pennies,” Conkerite said.
Residents of other parts of the city would benefit from a grocery store that’s likely to follow as housing developments like Imperial Hardware Lofts move downtown, said Councilman Mike Gardner, who represents the area.
The project is part of former Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge’s 2012 commitment that the city would build 5,000 units of new housing by 2020, a commitment Bailey said is still taken seriously. Bailey said the city has 988 housing units recently completed, under construction or in the planning process.
That includes the Main+Nine project at Main and Ninth Streets in downtown Riverside, which promises boutique apartments over a ground floor café and creative offices when it opens around summer 2019. Like the Imperial Hardware Lofts, it is being developed by Ratkovich Properties, an Irvine-based firm that now-City Manager Al Zelinka recruited to build in Riverside.
Imperial Hardware Lofts tenants are starting to move in.
One of them is Shelby Worthington-Loomis, the owner of Worthington’s Tavern down the block, as well as other businesses.
She invited people attending the grand opening into her apartment, which is furnished mostly from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and decorated with photographs of historic downtown Riverside.
“We couldn’t pass it up,” Worthington-Loomis said of herself and her husband, Steve. “I love the brick. I love that it shows the heritage of the building.”