SAN DIEGO-With construction on one of its most recent projects expected to begin in late 2004, La Jolla Pacific Development Group has unveiled the design of the development–a $20-million, mixed-use facility that is scheduled to rise at 301 University Ave. in the Hillcrest area of the city.The new development has been designed by KMA Architecture & Engineering, which has been working on various mixed-use projects as of late. Slated to encompass a total of 150,000 sf upon completion, the development will include 5,000 sf of retail space on the ground floor, as well as three levels of parking, and 51 residential units designed with local empty nesters in mind. The units are “very generous living spaces that will accommodate people who are empty nesters,” says KMA principal Neville Willsmore. He tells that the project’s residential component is being marketed to those people “who are in older, established homes in the community and want to stay in the neighborhood, but don’t want the high maintenance associated with homeownership.” With this target in mind, La Jolla Pacific has called for units that are roomier than most of the residential spaces found in mixed-use developments currently rising in the area. “While most of the newer developments have smaller type units, this project in Hillcrest has larger sized units ranging from 1,100 sf to 3,300 sf,” Willsmore says. In addition to larger interiors, the units will feature spacious balconies encompassing an average size of 160 sf.The developer has also incorporated “generous amenities” into the project, as a way of luring in ex-homeowners, according to Willsmore. Residential amenities will include a fitness center, meeting room, library, steam room, sauna, and fourth floor roof terrace with an outdoor hot tub. In regards to the commercial component, La Jolla Pacific’s new project will include a scaled-back amount of retail space, Willsmore notes. He tells that there is “a trend to try and reduce the amount of retail at the groundfloor because the neighborhood is starting to become overpopulated with retail and commercial space, so it is becoming more difficult to lease as time goes by.”With an increased number of mixed-use developments cropping up across the West Coast, Willsmore says the driving forces behind the mixed-use trend are the scarcity of available land and the resulting increase in prices, as well as people’s frustration with urban sprawl. “They are trying to embrace a new lifestyle, which is typified by the new mixed-use projects that we are doing,” he notes.

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