SAN DIEGO—An approved two-building mixed-use project on Friars Road marries the interests of Linda Vista and Mission Valley, two neighborhoods that may not have the same visions regarding development, Latitude 33 Planning and Engineering principal Matthew Semic tells GlobeSt.com. The firm and Tucker Sadler Architects recently reported that the project had received approval from the City of San Diego Planning Commission.
Extensive public outreach was conducted by the local development team, which includes, in addition to Latitude and Tucker Sadler, Chris Brown of Alchemy Consulting Group and Debbie Dorsee of the Dorsee Co. The project was entitled by LandCap Investment Partners LLC and Guardian Investment Capital LLC.
The Friars Road Project will be located on a 5.43-acre site, directly across from Fashion Valley Mall and the Fashion Valley Transit Center. The residential mix will include 243 apartment units and 70 condominiums. The apartment building will stand eight stories tall over two levels of parking, and the condominium building will stand nine stories tall, also over two levels of parking. The homes—which will provide “top-level” amenities with exercise, recreational and concierge services—will be over six shopkeeper units. The project is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.
According to Greg Mueller, CEO and principal of Tucker Sadler, “The buildings are designed to reflect the natural topography of the hillsides. The rooflines swoop and undulate as the bluff does today. The interiors will be vibrant and inviting with floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase San Diego’s superb natural light and allow the outside to become an integral element of the interior. Exceptionally lush landscaping will complete the residential environment.”
Commissioner Doug Austin, FAIA, adds, “My reason for voting yes is because we’re getting density where we want density. We’re getting a project that is appropriate where it’s located. I think it’s going to improve the site dramatically visually.”
When asked how he sees the project fitting in with the overall Mission Valley Community Plan Update, Semic told GlobeSt.com, “This is a transit-oriented development that encourages walkability and public transportation, as well as activates Friars Road. We are presenting an extroverted design—one that is “outward facing”—that promotes interconnection of neighborhoods.”
Semic says the project is a “smart integration with existing anchor elements such as the Fashion Valley Mall, promoting the vitality of a strong existing retail development. It does a terrific job of marrying the interests of Linda Vista and Mission Valley, two neighborhoods that may not have the same visions regarding development.”
The project is one of the first in San Diego to be approved under the concept of unbundled parking, which means a space does not come with an apartment unit—one would have to pay additionally for it. “The intent is that by having the additional cost, residents will consider alternative means of transportation, such as the trolley,” says Semic.