Riverside, Calif. – Western Municipal Water District (Western) is placing its former headquarters property for sale in an effort to help maintain efficient operations and contribute to keeping rates affordable. This transition also creates a new path forward for enhanced water education. The property is on the market for approximately $2.95 million.
The property is located at the corner of Alessandro Boulevard and Mission Grove Parkway in Riverside and was put into service by the District in 1986. Western outgrew the Alessandro building and moved to its new facility on Meridian Parkway. The building was then temporarily leased to other public agencies. When the most recent lease expired, Western considered two options: bringing in a new tenant to lease the property or selling the property. Staff recommended the sale of the property, which the Western’s Board of Directors has approved. The timing was an important consideration in the decision as property values have steadily increased since the transition to the Meridian property, which provides a greater value to Western’s customers.
“Selling Western’s vacant Alessandro building is just one of the many ways we are working to be efficient with ratepayer dollars and be fiscally responsible,” said John Rossi, Western’s General Manager. “We are working with a real estate broker with a proven track record and knowledge of the region to find the right buyer for the property at the best possible price.”
In addition to being the former headquarters for Western, the site also houses Western’s Landscapes Southern California StyleSM water-efficiency garden. The garden was one of the first educational gardens of its kind in California and has been the home for Western’s signature "Earth Night in the Garden" event and nine annual workshops.
“When the garden was built nearly 30 years ago, its main purpose was to showcase plants and irrigation materials and techniques that were not readily available in the Inland Southern California region at that time,” said Rossi. “We now have the unique opportunity to re-engage our customers through new education programs both online and at other locations at a lower cost, which is a win-win for our customers.”
Though the building and garden will be sold, Western will look to expand educational opportunities, including an annual water education festival and workshop events. The District also embraces collaboration on water use efficiency and will continue to look for partnerships with other area agencies on conservation efforts.
"The closure of the garden is bittersweet. We are satisfied that it has accomplished its original goals. Now it is time to develop new educational opportunities on our path forward," Rossi noted.
Rossi added that as part of the sale process, memorials and other items will be removed and relocated in a careful and thoughtful manner. In addition, he noted that Western is currently working on a new landscaping project at its Meridian headquarters facility, which will provide ongoing water-efficiency education that is in line with customers’ current needs. The landscaping project should take approximately 18 months for completion.
Lee & Associates, a local real estate broker, was selected to oversee the sale of the building.