CREW San Diego Mission Valley event The event highlighted the Mission Valley Community Plan Update, which aims to recharge the submarket and make better use of its location and natural resources.

SAN DIEGO—By breaking down large blocks into smaller, more densified spaces and playing up to the strengths of the nearby San Diego River, the Mission Valley submarket is undergoing a major transformation, said speakers at yesterday’s CREW San Diego lunch event. Moderated by Jennifer Liltwak, executive director of Housing on Merit, the event, titled “Urban Retrofit & Redevelopment in Mission Valley,” highlighted the Mission Valley Community Plan Update and two major projects that dovetail with that update.

Nancy Graham, senior planner for the City of San Diego Planning Department, said the focus on the update is on transit, which, despite a trolley stop in Mission Valley, has not been strongly used outside of transportation to Qualcomm Stadium. With the Chargers’ recent San Diego exit, however, the plan aims to create an urbanized, walkable community that will ramp up trolley use in and out of Mission Valley. In addition to breaking down large sites, Graham says stakeholders “want to keep the high-quality development that’s already there, but create horizontal mixed use” to develop a more complete community. “It might seem counterintuitive, but Mission Valley was all designed for cars, not urban use mixed-use, and most residents are not taking advantage of the trolley.” She says the goal is to make the spaces in between buildings better and much more urban, to complete infill development and focus on the river and a public park in order to create a dynamic new environment. Mission Valley, she says, needs transit, open spaces and an urban experience.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

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