Riverside County's soft economic conditions have forced at least one developer to rethink plans to bring more retail space to the market. Caliber Retail Properties Group president Bart Pebbles, says he's amending development plans for the 130,000-square-foot Shoppes at Central Crossroads in Lake Elsinore in western Riverside County. “There are headwinds that we've encountered like every other developer in the area, and we've had to react to those conditions,” Pebbles says.

The Shoppes at Central Crossroads will now be delivered in phases throughout 2010 and 2011, with the first phase scheduled to open in late 2010. Pebbles plans to break ground next summer. Originally, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based developer had planned to deliver it in its entirety in early 2010.

Local economist John Husing says Riverside County and the rest of the Inland Empire is facing its most challenging economy in more than four decades. This year will be the first, since at least 1964 when the economy will have a net job loss. For 2008, he's forecasting a loss of nearly 18,000 jobs.

Retail sales in Riverside County are down 3.4 percent so far this year. For 2007, they fell 11.6 percent according to Husing. To date, just one anchor tenant has committed to the project, but Pebbles says lease negotiations are continuing.