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Unlimited possibilities ahead for Adelanto
By LEROY STANDISH/Staff Writer  |  06-Jan-2006
ADELANTO — City leaders hope that 2006 will be the year retailers discover the city of unlimited possibilities.

On Jan. 11 the city's first grocery store will open in the Adelanto Market Place on the corner of Palmdale Road and Highway 395.

Expectations are that if that development goes well, more retail will follow.

The city is also hopeful that more manufacturing, warehousing and industrial businesses will locate here, bringing more jobs. Refurbishment of roads, cooperation with surrounding communities and planning appropriately for future growth are also targets for the year ahead.

Story Photo

Ares Maida works the register at the new Michael's Market and Liquor in Adelanto on Wednesday. The market has been open since early December and is awaiting equipment needed to carry cut meat, produce and a taco stand.
Photos by Eric Tom / Staff Photographer

To lead the city into the future, the City Council hired Jim Hart as its city manager in 2005. He has been consistent in statements that once one retail center opens and does well in Adelanto, more will quickly follow.

"By capitalizing on the Adelanto Market Place's success we can begin parlaying that into additional retail development," Hart said. "The success of Stater Bros. and the stores that are involved will become known throughout the retail community."

"Stater Bros. is going to be the tip of the iceberg," Mayor Jim Nehmens said. "As soon as that gets up and running I think you are going to see an explosion up and down Palmdale and 395."

What has been driving the growth of the city to now has been the construction of single-family homes. In the next five years officials estimate the city's population — currently at 23,500 — will double.

"Housing is the major thing that is going on for us right now, but we really want commercial," Hart said.

In the later part of 2005, several manufacturing companies bought land in one of Adelanto's three industrial parks and a Budweiser distribution facility has broken ground near Adelanto Road and Highway 395. More than 100 jobs are anticipated to be created as a direct result.

The city's industrial parks have done so well that 2006 might be the year another is mapped out, Nehmens said.

Neighboring Southern California Logistics Airport and the city of Victorville also play a role in Adelanto's future.

"Victorville and Adelanto are working very well together on issues that relate to the development of SCLA as well as our northern spheres of influence like the formation of the Helendale Community Services District," Hart said. "That's why we are working together — as the airport grows the need for housing, the need for services and the need for facilities grows."

Bulking up the city's road network will also be a goal for 2006.

"I look forward to at least fixing one, maybe two roads in the city," Councilman Charlie Glasper said. "El Mirage and maybe we can get something done on Bartlett from Adelanto Road all the way over to Aster. We need other through streets from the north to the south and the east to the west being brought up to speed."

The improvement of El Mirage Road may lead to some retail, commercial and housing development northwest of town.

"We do have some people interested in locating some commercial and retail out there," Nehmens said. "Hopefully we'll get it started this year — repairing that nightmare out there — get it paved from 395 to the county line."

The Adelanto Chamber of Commerce — in perhaps a reflection of Adelanto's growth — is seeing rapidly increasing membership.

"We are beginning to see how we can make Adelanto a lot more pleasing to the eye for new businesses coming from down below," said Derrick Sanderlin, president of the chamber's board of directors.

The city's abundance of vacant land and proximity to SCLA, rail and highway are all seen as positive enticements for industry and retail.

"We have space. That is one of the biggest pluses for Adelanto," he said.

Already those who have seen Adelanto's possibilities and invested are realizing profits.

"It's a risk taker that comes to Adelanto, but the people who have taken that risk are seeing very positive results," said Hendon Harris. His development of the Stellar Plaza at Bartlett Avenue and Bellflower Road, which opened in late 2005, was the first retail shopping center built in Adelanto in the last 15 years.

"We have a lot of (future retail) projects that are planned, none of which we anticipate breaking ground in 2006, but two maybe three will open in 2007," he said.

As the city grows with more homes, jobs and businesses, so must the forward thinking of its leaders, Harris said.

"I think (the city) needs to be prepared for the ultimate build out of the city, which might be multiple times the existing population," he said.

The last time the city did an intense review of its General Plan was in the early 1990s. The city has changed significantly since then.

"Our general plan needs to be looked at. It needs to be updated to make sure we have sufficient and correct zoning laid out in the right way for the community to ultimately develop," Hart said. "It will take a good year or more to do that."

Motivation and a sense of optimism also seem to prevail in Adelanto. It was not so many years ago the city was mired in corruption, scandal and bitter in-fighting.

"Whatever it takes to bring this city into a modern appearance and move forward, that is what we are going to have to do," Glasper said.

LeRoy Standish may be reached at 951-6277 or

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