Mixed-use projects might have an edge

This article by Robert Showley reports on some of the new mixed-use developments in the San Diego suburbs.  Some analysts are thinking that, as construction begins to pick up again, these areas with both residential and commercial uses may have an edge over suburban designs.  The two examples he gives are MarketWalk in San Marcos, and Pacific Station in Encinitas.  Although this type of development is well-known in San Diego, it is new to the suburbs, and still faces the problems of over-inflated parking demands.  But many authorities say that this style is in demand, particularly for infill development.  MarketWalk was designed based off of pre-WWII models of development.  It has 12 condos, 11,000 square feet of retail space, and is located conveniently near an Albertson’s.  28 units are planned for a future phase of the development.  The architecture of the various buildings ranges from colonial to loft.  Pacific Station will host a Whole Foods grocery and an assortment of restaurants and retailers.  It has 47 condos and 47,000 square feet of retail.  John DeWald, the developer, says that there are 500 people on the wait list to buy, and he thinks that this is because his development is more interesting “than a bunch of houses.”  Although it is more complicated to develop, “more sophisticated” architects and contractors can handle the job.  Pacific Station is also lucky to be near a commuter rail station.  Howard Blackson of the Congress for the New Urbanism and local urban designer, says that these projects represent “the next generation” of San Diego development.  Let’s hope he’s right.

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