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ONTARIO, CA-The Urban Land Institute is forming an Inland EmpireDistrict Council, an expansion that reflects the burgeoning growth in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The president of the new Inland Empire District Council isJeffery Gault, president and CEO of The Empire Cos., who says the ULI has attracted approximately 250 to 300 participants at each of the first three ULI Inland Empire events. Gault says that based on the success of its first events, the Inland Empire organization,which is currently under the auspices of ULI’s Orange County District Council, is anticipated to become a stand-alone district council by next year.

The ULI’s latest Inland Empire event was a panel discussion of the challengesand successes in creating the new Victoria Gardens shopping center, including a site tour.The program was held Tuesday in Rancho Cucamonga, where Cleveland’s Forest City Enterprises and the Upland-based Lewis Group of Cos. developed Victoria Gardens. The ULI membership includes commercial and residential developers, public sector officials, architects, planners, financial providers and many other related real estate professionals. Gault comments that, with the Inland Empire rapidly growing, the formation of a ULI council for the two-county region “is an excellent opportunity for us to implement strategies of smart-growth principles.” Among the topics the ULI will tackle in the Inland Empire, he says, are creating smart-planned communities, transportationissues, affordable housing, work-live connectivity and “other issues ofimportance to the overall quality of life.”

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