July 2010 home page

  Kilroy Wants Here
Jerry Mailhot | Caminito Carmel Landing, Carmel Valley


Kilroy Mall Rendering by Elkus Manfredi Architects Ltd., Boston, Mass., in their brochure:
A Main Street for Carmel Valley.   Arrows and labels Virginia Lawrence.

The last large parcel of vacant land in North City West (Carmel Valley), at the southwest corner of Del Mar Heights Rd and El Camino Real, is the site for a proposed development twice the square footage of University Town Center. The location is one-quarter mile from the Del Mar Heights exit on I-5, going east.

The property is currently zoned for 510,000 square feet of commercial office space. The owner, Kilroy Realty Corporation, has proposed changes to the Carmel Valley Community Plan that would allow a mixed-use center including retail shops, office space, a hotel and convention center, residential units and over 4,000 parking spaces.

10 story “mid-rise.” Rendering by Elkus Manfredi Architects Ltd., Boston, Mass., in their brochure: A Main Street for Carmel Valley

The developer has circulated a beautiful 20-page multicolor brochure to nearby residents painting a picture of a wonderful pedestrian center with great Main Street ambiance “where you can park once, browse some small shops, grab lunch with a friend, then do some specialty grocery shopping or go to the gym.”

Many residents, however, are not that excited about this developer-induced fantasy. The proposed changes would consist of 580,000 square feet of office space in a 10-story building, 280,000 square feet of retail space, 600 – 625 residential units, a 150 – 180 room hotel and convention center, and several above and below ground parking structures. Over 2,000,000 square feet on approximately 23 acres zoned for only 510,000 square feet.

Compare this with the Del Mar Highlands Shopping Center (Jimbo’s, Ralph’s and the movie complex) across the street that consists of 270,000 square feet of retail and office space on approximately 28 acres. The proposed Kilroy project, with its mixed use, would be 600% bigger on 20% less acreage.

To get an idea of the density of this proposed project, one resident suggested going to the Del Mar Highlands Center during peak traffic times and trying to find a parking space. Now imagine that the total land area is 20% smaller and six times more concentrated with offices, shops, a hotel and condos. How far will you have to park to get to walk on Main Street?

We need a careful review of the data and the use of a little common sense before we scrape the current Community Plan for this parcel. An amendment to mixed use from employment center use may do nothing for Carmel Valley, but allow Kilroy to shove as much density as possible on 23 acres without regard to the congestion and traffic consequences caused by the proposed changes.

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board is preparing comments for the City of San Diego on what information the Environmental Report should include, and the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board has already submitted its comments. Their main concerns relate to the project’s traffic impact on the I-5 corridor and the lack of public mass transit linking up with the proposed commercial center.


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