Gene Autry Plaza
November 25, 2008
Gene Autry Plaza, the $17.5 million, 60,000 square feet neighborhood-focused retail center located at the corner of Gene Autry Trail and Ramon Road, officially broke ground on Tuesday, November 25, in Palm Springs. The project, scheduled to open in April, 2009, is a development of Palm Desert-based The Nicholas Group and Investec Real Estate, based in Santa Barbara and will include Staples Superstore, Smart and Final Extra, and Goody’s Cafe, among others. A bronze sculpture of Gene Autry was also unveiled at the ceremony by Mrs. Jackie Autry, widow of the music legend and media pioneer who has contributed generously to Palm Springs for more than 50 years.
Developer George Nicholas, Jr. and Mrs. Jackie Autry, take time before the ceremony for a local interview with Shauna Khorrami, reporter for KMIR-TV, the desert's NBC affiliate.
Founder and managing partner of The Nicholas Group, George Nicholas, Jr., at podium, welcomes guests to the groundbreaking of Gene Autry Plaza, scheduled to open in April, 2009.
Palm Springs Mayor, Steve Pougnet, speaks to guests about the economic importance of the project. Mrs. Jackie Autry, foreground, attended the ceremony.
Mrs. Jackie Autry spoke of her late husband's business and philanthropic commitments to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. Projects renderings and a replica of the proposed Gene Autry statue surround Mrs. Autry.
Palm Springs City Council members join developer George Nicholas, Jr. (far left) and Mrs. Jackie Autry (fifth from right) for the ground breaking of Gene Autry Plaza, scheduled to open in April, 2009.
Co-owner and Investec executive, Jim Slaught (left), George Nicholas, Jr., President of The Nicholas Group; Mrs. Jackie Autry and Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, surround a replica of a bronze sculpture of the late Gene Autry, for whom the center is named.
Jackie Autry and Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, with golden shovels in hand, stand next to a replica of the Gene Autry sculpture planned for Gene Autry Plaza in Palm Springs.