It was to be the site of Hesperia's tallest building. Instead, it will be used for a hamburger joint.


San Diego-based JSA Hospitality, which has built a number of hotels and businesses in the Victor Valley, was in the process of erecting the four-story Hampton Inn Hotel at the intersection of Bear Valley and Mariposa Roads in Hesperia. The company was mere months away from opening the hotel when a pre-dawn fire consumed the site on October 20, 2006. The fire did $3.5 million in damage to the 68-room hotel, and took 17 fire engines and 60 firefighters to quell.


After years of the site remaining vacant, construction work has again begun on the site, this time to build a Carl's Jr. on the site.


"As you know, the hotel burned down," Jenish Patel, chief investment officer for JSA Hospitality, said Thursday. "Our insurance company took quite a bit of time to pay out on it."


So the staff at JSA tried to come up with another use for the site that didn't require the cash then tied up with the insurance company.


"The best use in our mind was a restaurant," said Patel. "It would have been a hotel," had the company gotten the insurance settlement sooner.


So now it'll be a fast food restaurant.


"Carl's Jr. themselves are building it," Patel said. "We've given them a long-term lease on the site."


But JSA Hospitality isn't done with building hotels in the Victor Valley: Their next hotel project they're planning is a set of three hotels on Mariposa Road near Southwest Gas' offices. The project won't kick into high gear until the proposed Interstate 15 and Nisquali Road interchange gets closer to reality, said Patel.


The city of Victorville plans to begin construction on the Nisquali Road interchange this fall, although the city has previously missed target dates to begin construction.


The new Carl's Jr. restaurant at the intersection of Bear Valley Road and Mariposa Roads is set to open in May.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.