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Refreshing Heights
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court

 

Photos Bill Morris.  Click to enlarge.

 

Shopping centers are often no more than groups of unfortunate, identical, and repetitious look-alike stores, representing the same corporate merchants found in most shopping centers. In response to the boredom such development engenders an alternative vision has emerged- one that visualizes the shopping center as the new “community center” - a place offering extensive opportunities to socialize, convene as a community - to recreate as well as shop.

As an example, the recently purchased Del Mar Heights Village Center, at the corner of Mango Drive and Del Mar Heights Road, just west of I-5, is undergoing a transformation and will incorporate many of those features which constitute a “community center.”

As previously noted the developers began their undertaking with an ambitious customer survey which generated 500 responses to the question: “What do you want to see happen?” The feedback produced a multitude of opinions and recommendations from residents, members of the Torrey Pines Community Planning Council and local merchants. The responses generated three major project goals: 1) Renovate the shopping center to freshen the appearance while maintaining the neighborhood charm. 2) Redesign the driveway entries to improve pedestrian and vehicular accessibility. 3) Improve the selection of stores and eateries to bring new shopping options to the community.

The goals have served as the foundation for the continuing efforts of the developers, architects, planners and retail specialists. In the near future, their plans and a series of recommendations will be presented to the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board and released to the general public.

As Elizabeth Schreiber, vice president and General Manager for Donahue Schreiber states, “The project is moving along nicely. We continue to work collaboratively with the Del Mar Community and look forward to creating a fresh and modernized village center that meets the community’s needs, while maintaining a sense of neighborhood.”

 

 
 


 

 

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