By SDCNN Staff
Civita Park just celebrated its grand opening and it is already being recognized as a unique public asset in San Diego. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) of San Diego-Tijuana bestowed its Healthy Public Places award on Civita Park during gala festivities recently.
The annual Healthy Places Awards honor innovative projects that demonstrate creative development practices, inventive partnerships, imaginative problem solving and visionary ideas.
The 14.3-acre park, developed by Sudberry Properties and designed by Schmidt Design Group, Inc., incorporates many of ULI’s Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places, which emphasize healthy living, accessibility, aesthetics, safety, and the promotion of physical and mental activity for people of all ages and abilities. The first two phases of the public park opened in Mission Valley in April.
“We are honored by this special award from ULI,” said Marco Sessa, senior vice president of Sudberry Properties in a press statement. Sudberry is the developer of the 230-acre Civita masterplan.
“It was important to the Grant family [owners of the quarry property Civita is built on] that the community be designed around a central, unifying park. We are proud to have implemented their vision in a way that ULI supports,” he said.
Centrally located to maximize the walkability and health of the community, Civita Park includes many vibrant places that serve as a magnet for recreation and social gatherings, including Celebration Plaza, an outdoor amphitheater, open fields and courts, a community garden, board game area, trails for walking and running and a dog park designed for large and small dogs.
The park also embraces the unique characteristics of the site, which was a former sand and gravel quarry. The “Mining Relic Plaza,” planned for the next phase, will showcase actual mining equipment that was used on site, including a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer and large augers.
Civita Park is a public-private partnership among Sudberry Properties, the city of San Diego and Civita property owners. Owned by the city of San Diego, Civita Park will be maintained by the Civita Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), which receives funds from the city of San Diego and from property taxes collected from Civita residents. Civita Park will be maintained at a much higher level than typical city parks.
“The development of Civita Park has been a huge cooperative effort with major contributions by the City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, the Public Works Department, Engineering Section, Schmidt Design Group, Hazard Construction Company, Rick Engineering and a host of talented subcontractors,” Sessa said. “We’re grateful for the creativity, dedication, and hard work of the entire team,” he added, “especially the immeasurable contributions of Mark Radelow of Sudberry Properties and Nate Magnusson of Schmidt Design Group, who virtually lived on site during construction.”
According to its website, The Urban Land Institute “provides leadership in the responsible use of land, and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.” The ULI San Diego-Tijuana District Council facilitates the open exchange of ideas among industry leaders, practitioners and policy makers and also sponsors monthly educational forums.
The ULI San Diego-Tijuana District Council was established in 1997 and has over 700 members from a spectrum of real estate disciplines, including architects, engineers, developers, builders, planners, lenders, brokers, accountants, attorneys, academics and students. A sizeable portion of the membership belongs to ULI’s Young Leaders group that encourages networking and education for young professionals under the age of 35.
Internationally, ULI has been around for over 70 years and now has a membership of over 40,000 and is recognized as a top advocate for encouraging and fostering high standards of land use planning and real estate development.