Mission Valley: A happening placeReal Estate, Bottom Highlights Thursday, January 5th, 2017
We turn our attention this week to Mission Valley, an interesting area in San Diego through which the San Diego River flows, and the site of the first Spanish settlement in California circa 1769. It is known today for its major venue, Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers since 1967.
The fate of the Chargers and consequently, Qualcomm Stadium itself, is unknown at this time. With the plan to rebuild the stadium no longer on the cards, the team is researching its options elsewhere, and the stadium site may be rife for redevelopment in another context.
With or without this large site being redeveloped, however, Mission Valley is slated for big things. In fact, six large scale developments are on the drawing boards with one, Civita, already under construction.
No one can deny the need for new housing. San Diego is forecasting a major increase in population with projected numbers in the 700,000 to 1 million ranges, in the next 20 or so years, and perhaps even sooner. So the rush is on.
A plan for the area would be a good place to start, but builders are rushing in before a master plan can be hatched. There is the San Diego River Park Master Plan with its intention to revitalize the river.
But the cart is definitely before the horse as developers rush in to meet the demand for housing.
More than 10,600 new units are on the boards. Civita, already started, is a mixed use community including single family homes, townhomes and flats for sale, and apartment homes for rent. These are fairly pricey with units at Lucent starting in the 600,000s and in the Apex from the 800,000s.
With so many units coming, someone has to address the infrastructure issues. Mission Valley has good access to roads and transportation junctures but it lacks the walkability of other neighborhoods. The Civita complex is making its contribution by agreeing to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the very busy Friars Road.
Building residential units close to transportation hubs and stations is a trend gaining favor in many places including Mission Valley. The transit stop at the Hazard Center will soon be accompanied with a new project containing 473 housing units.
Other Mission Valley sites are preparing for a reuse. The former Ford dealership lot on Camino del Rio North will soon sport some 305 residences, offices and retail. Even larger is Lowe Enterprises Town and Country with 900 planned residential units and a hotel. The latter will take a couple of years to get through planning and permitting. Even more grandiose is the Related Company plan to turn the Riverwalk Golf Course into a massive development with some 4,000 residential units, offices and hotels. This brings us back to Qualcomm, which, if retrofitted into a mixed use development, would accommodate possibly as many as 6,000 units.
All of these developments will surely transform Mission Valley, as will the river revitalization. But it will take multiple years to get there, and new infrastructure improvements will have to be part of the package. An exciting time for Mission Valley, and indeed for all of San Diego. Stay tuned for news and views as we see progress become manifest.
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