Town and Country hotel to transform 4.33 acres for public use
Bu Ken Williams | Editor
A 4.33-acre park will be built along the south side of the San Diego River on land belonging to the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center.
Although the park will be open to the public, the land will remain the property of the hotelier, according to Todd Majcher with Lowe Enterprises Real Estate.
Plans for the park were discussed on April 6 at the monthly meeting of the Mission Valley Planning Group at the Mission Valley Library.
The board expressed enthusiasm for adding a new park in Mission Valley, where there is a dearth of public spaces.
After listening to Majcher’s PowerPoint presentation, which was followed by questions, the board voted to designate its Parks Ad Hoc Committee as the advisory group for design of the park. Board member Rob Hutsel — who heads the San Diego River Foundation — is the committee’s chair.
In addition to the park, Majcher said another 7.71 acres — which he called a “sea of asphalt” — would become restored river habitat.
Hotel guests can currently cross a large, asphalted parking lot to a pedestrian bridge over the river to reach the Fashion Valley Transit Center or mall. Pedestrians can barely see the river through dense brush, trees and invasive species.
Almost 3,000 feet of new trails for walking and biking will be added to the south side of the river on the hotel property. That trail will eventually connect to the one that will be built when the luxury apartment complex is constructed along the river on the Union-Tribune property. This trail will go from Fashion Valley Road east to Avenida del Rio, the Fashion Valley Mall entrance off Camino de la Reina.
Majcher said Lowe Enterprises has already met with city officials and stakeholder agencies. A public workshop on the project, announced by the city, will be conducted at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Windsor Room in the Regency Ballroom at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center.
Goals of the first workshop — a second one will be held in June — will be to get public input on potential amenities for the park. Topics to be discussed will include overall site context, and opportunities and constraints.
In other business, the planning group voted 16-0-1 to advance plans for the San Diego Mission Road Townhouses. Architect Nancy Keenan said the project will require the demolition of several existing buildings, which included the former site of Habitat for Humanity. The site has 40 feet in grade difference, posing a challenge to the design. The project will have 58 townhouses, 10 percent of which would be designated as affordable housing. The lot is on the corner of San Diego Mission Road and Rancho Mission Road, where the entrance would be located. Some residents who live along Rancho Mission Road expressed their concern about traffic at the meeting, and Hutsel said he voted against the project because of the traffic concerns and since he had not read the environmental report.
Developers in the massive Civita project discussed three new projects:
- ColRich will be building 62 stacked flats on Lot 1 within the area dubbed Terrace District West. Many units would face Civita Park, which is projected to open in 10 to 11 months.
- The New Home Company plans to build 133 three-story homes at the very top of Civita “that will maximize views,” presenter John Glaser said. This will be on Lot 8 within the Ridgetop District East. If transportation officials approve a Civita exit off Interstate 805 — which is currently a fire road — the road will run behind the project.
- Sudberry Properties announced plans for 440 apartments and 20,000-square-feet of retail in a mixed-use project planned for Lots 2 and 6 within the Creekside District Central and East. This project is on the south side of Civita and north of Friars Road, located within the small-business district.
—Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and Mission Valley News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at KenSanDiego, Instagram account at KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.