At the beginning of this decade, the developers of RiverPark in Oxnard looked at the vacant land, the asphalt plant and the run-down neighborhoods along the Santa Clara River and bet the area could almost be its own little new-suburban city. RiverPark would be a place where the people of 2010 would walk their kids to school, stroll through the neighborhood park, stop to buy organic produce from Whole Foods Market, and head home to chop it on their new granite countertops.
Today, RiverPark has about 800 occupied homes, rather than the 2,800 the plans call for at build-out. The shopping center sits vacant and fenced-off, construction equipment the only thing parked in its vast lots. The planned opening keeps getting pushed back, with “late 2010” the latest word from the developer, Shea Properties.
Be sure to read the comments for the different perspectives. Outsiders doing the Nelson Muntz "Hah hah!" The stuccos who lament their trusting the city. The denialists who can't even see reality. Past Riverpork posts here.
The thing that will kill the project will ultimately all come down to a failure of government. Yes, built in a flood plain. Yes, too dense. Yes, taxes too high regardless of home prices. All direct consequences of incompetent leadership at the municipal level. It's too late for Riverpark. Will the city wake up in time to save themselves from Wagon Wheel?
And the hits will keep coming. 800 occupied residences are not enough to service the HOA or Mello-Roos debts encumbered on their behalf. I wonder how many understand they are joint and several liable for the entire amount and not just the pro rata share currently being assessed? If you think the current 2.6% plus municipal burden is excessive, just wait. Riverpark will be a text book study for generations to come.