The City of Riverbank hosted a groundbreaking event at Crossroads West this past Friday to commemorate the work that has begun. Phase 1 of the project is under way with 91 homes being built, with the majority of them being single story family homes.
“This project will add tremendous value to the region,” stated Riverbank Mayor Richard O’Brien. “The housing will cover all affordability in all ranges without visible or quality differences. This total project will convert the Sports Complex into a Regional Sports Complex; schools will cover additional students for the Sylvan School district; a new fire station and almost doubling the commercial/retail space that will ensure the success of the city for the long term.”
There were several people in attendance for the groundbreaking including the City Council, City staff, Riverbank Chamber, Supervisor Buck Condit, project lead, builders, and developers.
“It is thrilling to finally have the project kick off,” expressed City Manager Sean Scully. “This has been a top priority for the City Council for a number of years and we are very excited at the opportunity to bring much needed housing to our community. The mix of uses, the Crossroads West specific plan was designed to incorporate a variety of uses within the area. This includes single family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, and a large portion of parkland incorporated throughout the project.”
The commercial portion that will be developed has not begun and there have been no future commercial tenants confirmed. However, Scully added that plan has allowances for retail, entertainment and restaurant type businesses in the new Crossroads West that are complementary to the original Crossroads shopping center.
The ground is being worked to outline the area and prep for the underground work like electrical, sewer and water with the building to begin possibly in the fall.
“The groundbreaking event was a huge moment for the City of Riverbank because (with) this project we are hoping to replicate the success we had for the Crossroads development,” said Vice Mayor Luis Uribe. “This was my first groundbreaking event so seeing the dirt actually moving and knowing this will lead to more housing during a time of California’s housing shortage shows we are meeting the challenge and doing our part as a city.”
Uribe added that the new development will bring jobs to benefit Riverbank residents and cities in the surrounding area.
“The event was a success,” remarked Councilmember Rachel Hernandez. “It was great to safely have city staff, a few community members, and the city council together to commemorate this huge project. Breaking ground at the new site was historic. Riverbank has a dedicated staff that has put so much time and effort into the growth of the city. I’m excited for the much needed housing and jobs that are coming to the city.”
There were discussions regarding the Crossroads West project for many years and many are thrilled to see that work has actually begun. Councilmember Cal Campbell and Councilmember Darlene Barber Martinez expressed that it is bittersweet.
“I am excited to see this development begin and sad at the same time,” added Martinez. “This area will never be the same again with the absence of farms, crops and animals. However, the new development will bring new homes, a new fire station, parks, and new commercial businesses. The event was really exciting to be a part of. Our City Council and City Staff worked very hard to make this expansion happen.”
Campbell said that he understands that the housing and industry are important to the development of Riverbank and that residents must work together to maintain a balance between new business, residential development, farm land and parks.
“My feelings are mixed about the development of Crossroads West,” noted Campbell. “When I went to high school in Oakdale during the sixties, there was much more farm land near the towns. I miss that open land so near the towns; but understand our population is growing in all the small farm towns in our county with more industry developing in them.”
The Machado family is the majority land owner in Crossroads West and Randy High Jr. on behalf of his family has been involved with the project. The family owns around 240 acres that will consist of about 1200 single family homes, 250 apartments, and other mixed use commercial upon completion, according to High.
“We hope to deliver a master planned community that will be well received and provide many amenities typically not seen in our area,” stated High. “For example, a nearly one mile long linear dual use park system, a plethora of retail opportunities existing and new, a new fire station, regional sports park, school, etc.”
O’Brien explained that some of the challenges on the progress of the project was getting a general agreement from the city, commercial and residential groups on the design of the project and which roles that each would have including the responsibilities for the work that would be performed and the boundaries.
“When Sean Scully became the City Manager he took on this project and others including the Industrial Complex negotiations,” shared O’Brien. “He organized the meetings and received quality results. His efforts are greatly appreciated and he did a superb job, achieving a high quality project.”
Shovels were passed out and officials took a moment for a photo op and then scooped up some dirt in celebration of the new development.
FCB Homes has broken ground in the new development and should have homes built in the late summer.
“The complete project with retail jobs; coupled with employment being added at the Industrial Complex; new use at the Contadina Cannery will provide a balanced job/housing ratio,” remarked O’Brien. “At the same time, the continuation of our biking and walking trails will improve our sustainability as a City.”