By Hoa Quach
As Mission Valley’s new Civita development rapidly transforms from architectural watercolor renderings into a living, breathing, brick-and-mortar reality, the neighborhood is attracting a variety of residents from all over San Diego.
The $2 billion master-planned development situated north of Friars Road will eventually offer more than 4,000 homes on 230 acres. The development, which began in 2011, will be complete in 12 years.
As of the end of September 2014, 143 homes had been sold, ranging in price from the high $400,000s to the mid-$700,000s.
Matt Stucky was just one of the buyers in 2014. Stucky and his family of four made Civita’s Frame and Focus community their home in mid-August.
Stucky, a 33-year-old attorney, moved from Encinitas to make the commute to his office Downtown easier.
“We were looking to be close to the city but we really needed a combination of a lot of things,” Stucky said. “Civita is central but it’s walkable and is nice for young kids. They’re putting in a lot of trees, bicycle lanes and pathways.”
Stucky and his wife, who is pregnant with their third child, settled on a 2,000-square-foot home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms after their search.
Stucky said other young families have also moved into the development.
“We’re seeing a lot of families with young children,” said Stucky, who is also hopeful the development will someday have a school. “It’s kind of the demographics attracted to the area. It’s really designed well.”
Christy Schmidt, 28, also purchased her first home in the Frame and Focus community.
The San Diego native who moved in during June said it was difficult to make the commitment to purchasing a home but she felt connected to Civita.
“I looked around a lot,” said Schmidt, who also works at the landscape design firm that is designing Civita Park. “I settled on Civita because of the location and I know how amazing it’s going to be.”
Schmidt, who previously lived in Bay Park, described Civita as the “new generation” of communities with its focus on walkability and sustainability.
“It’s very community-centric,” Schmidt said. “I love what they’re going for, and I think we’ll see this a lot in the coming generations, but you can’t find it somewhere else right now.”
Schmidt said she plans to make her 1,306-square-foot condo her home for a long time.
“I was so glad to buy in Civita and to buy a new home,” Schmidt said. “I have no idea what the future holds but I can definitely see myself living here for quite a while.”
For Adrianne Ahern and her husband, Barry Grundland, purchasing a home in Civita made sense.
The couple purchased an 1,800-square-foot home in the Lucent community and plan to move in next spring.
Ahern, 54, and her husband will be moving from Del Mar despite the fact that her office is in the coastal North County city.
“We were looking around for a small home to make into a great place and my husband heard about Civita,” Ahern said. “The idea of Mission Valley didn’t appeal to me but we loved the community when we visited.”
Ahern said the features of her new home and neighborhood make it worth it to endure a longer commute.
“I like the clean look,” Ahern said. “I like the way it’s designed. I like the idea of the parks and restaurants and the gymnasium. I like that everybody who has bought there seems very happy and are really excited to live there.”
Civita in 2015
West Park, an apartment neighborhood with 612 apartments, is under construction and scheduled for first move-ins in the first quarter of 2015. The community, which is expected to have a 10,000-square-foot resident gym, will begin pre-leasing in November.
Construction has also begun for Versa, an affordable apartment complex for those 55 and older. The 150-apartment neighborhood is scheduled to be complete the first quarter of 2015.
Civita Park, a 19-acre city park located at the center of Civita, is scheduled to break ground before the end of 2014 and will be completed in approximately one year.
More than one-third of Civita will be devoted to open space and public areas, including parks, landscaped parkways, community recreation center and a Civic Center with a plaza, Heritage Museum and amphitheater.
—Hoa Quach is a San Diego-based freelance writer. Connect with her online at hoawrites.com.