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SAN CLEMENTE, CA-The California Coastal Commission has granted approval to SunCal Cos. for the company’s 248-acre Marblehead Coastal project, a combination of housing, retail, movie theater and hotel development, after 33 years of planning and hearings on the site. Marblehead Coastal is planned for a 642,000-sf retail center called Plaza San Clemente, 313 homes, a 130-room hotel and a 14-screen movie theater.The City of San Clemente, which was also involved in the approval process, describes the Marblehead Coastal project as “one of the last and certainly one of the most important ocean front developments in Orange County.” The 248-acre site is on the west side of the I-5 Freeway between Avenida Pico and the proposed extension of Avenida Vista Hermosa.The Coastal Commission granted preliminary approval for the project in February 2005, after which SunCal began grading at the site but held off additional construction while waiting for final approval. SunCal says that full grading will begin on the 248-acre site immediately, with model homes expected in late summer 2007.Mike McGovern, project manager for Marblehead Coastal, notes that the plans for the development include the restoration of approximately 100 acres of degraded habitat. More than 125 acres will be dedicated to parks, trails and a canyon preserve, plus four miles of public pathways.The upscale retail component, Plaza San Clemente, is part of a design plan that includes two bridges over Marblehead Canyon and a street-scape plan distinguished by lantern-style street lamps.

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