Mission Valley bloomsLatest Issue, Real Estate Thursday, May 11th, 2017
Franklin and Alta Grant fell in love. With each other, for sure, but also with a piece of land along the San Diego River. They discovered it in the early 1900s and thought they would find oil there. Instead, they founded a mine on the 225 acre site, which the family maintained for 70 years.
The quarry they founded is located in Mission Valley, land through which the San Diego River flows to the Pacific Ocean. Much of San Diego’s infrastructure is constructed out of rock mined at the Grant quarry.
The Grants had a son, Russell and he passed the quarry land to thirteen cousins, who seized the opportunity to develop their grandparent’s legacy into a mixed use site that would serve the people of San Diego. They chose Sudberry Properties as their joint venture partner and a vision for a walkable village and a large public park was born.
It took another seven years of planning and public-private cooperation to birth the community to be called Civita – an apt name for a vital civic development. The ultimate community, which will be built over the next 20 years, will include some 40,000 units, and the amenities to service the village will be phased in as Civita expands.
The first phase of Civita Park consists of over nine acres and contains a Military Tribute Plaza and a Celebration Plaza featuring The Cloud Amphitheater. A nearby fountain will be the centerpiece for a farmer’s market and other special events. The Living Room is a gathering and resting place and features concrete couches adorned with sculptures of animals in bronze. This charming space is enhanced with a rose garden and rabbits along the man-made Civita creek.
Also included are a football size playing field, basketball courts, five exercise stations, Civita Falls, a lookout spot, two dog parks, and the Civita Community Garden, with 38 plots to be maintained by lottery selected citizen farmers. A Recreation Center with pool, fitness center and lounge area will be open to Civita Homeowners Association members only.
In Phase Two, beginning in 2018, a five acre parkland will be added and include a bocce court, children’s play area, rock climbing walls, bird and butterfly garden. Memories of the past will be acknowledged with salvaged mining equipment on display. In 2020, the Civita sales center, a 10,000 square foot building, will become a History Museum and a testament to the story of Mission Valley.
Civita will take advantage of the latest technology to create a sustainable, green, energy efficient community. Included will be solar panels, vehicle charging stations, fuel cell generation, battery storage, and other conservation, low-carbon enhancements. As a walkable community, residents may enjoy a self-contained world with many of their needs being met right where they reside, and commuting to work accessible via the nearby trolley station.
Many people are now discovering that a mixed use community like Civita can literally transform one’s life, and provide the gift of time not wasted on daily commutes to stores and recreational facilities. It will likely spur similar developments in San Diego.
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