UPDATE FROM THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS
San Marcos is arguably becoming one of the region’s most desirable cities, according to data collected by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC). It is one of San Diego County’s fastest growing cities, median incomes are on an uptick that’s outpacing the region, and business inventory grew 10 percent in the last decade.
“This translates to an annual GDP of $7.9 billion that’s driving the high quality of life we all enjoy in San Marcos and across North County,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster.
This economic momentum is partly being spurred by two developments: North City, which aims to anchor the City’s future downtown; and San Elijo Town Center, in the heart of that community.
“Beyond the economic benefits, each will help shape our city’s emerging culture. Therefore, we’ve been engaged from design concepts to helping find business tenants that best align with our community,” Sangster explained. “Each step of the way, we’re doing our best to inform the public.”
In that vein, here’s what you can expect to see over the next year at each development:
North City, 250 North City Drive
North City aims to be a cultural hub for San Marcos, complete with restaurants, stores, offices, townhomes, apartments and entertainment venues—all within walking distance.
Soon, it’ll reach a new milestone: This summer, North City Drive will open off S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, between E. Barham Drive and Interstate 78., creating a direct road into North City.
“It will help create a sense of place,” explained Darren Levitt, Vice President of Sea Breeze Properties, the developer behind North City. “Our ultimate goal here is to create a destination space where people want to gather and feel a sense of community.”
Levitt says the long-term vision includes a high-end movie theater and grocery store. While nothing official can yet be announced, there have been recent talks with a gourmet ice cream shop, yoga studio, and popular Mexican eatery.
In April, Union Cowork will open a 10,000-square-foot space near Umami Japanese Restaurant, Prep Kitchen, Fresh Healthy Café and Newtopia Cyder. In August, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) will open its Extended Learning building—a six-story, 135,000 square foot structure that will house academic space and retailers, though none have been announced yet.
City staff is also reviewing a permit application from Mesa Rim for a 25,000 square-foot indoor rock-climbing gym. It is slated to open in 2020, right next to Urge Gastropub & Common House.
“In fact, you’ll be able to sit on the patio of Urge and watch people climb,” Levitt added. “This is all part of the communal experience we’re working to create.”
For more information about North City, including updates about new tenants, visit northcity.com.
San Elijo Town Center, 1620-1646 San Elijo Road
The village vibe of San Elijo Hills continues to take root as its central plaza becomes more bustling by the day. It’s not uncommon to see locals lounging on the greenbelt—or strolling along the shops and eateries, which as of late includes Lourdes Mexican Food, Starbucks, Everbowl, Sourdough & Co, CycleBar, Downtown Academics, San Elijo Pediatric Dentistry and Grand Vision Optometry.
These businesses are all part of San Elijo Town Center, which is still taking shape. Though most of it is filled, there a couple of restaurant space still up for grabs.
“We would love to see a local chef-inspired concept in one of those spaces,” said John Jennings, Senior Managing Director with Newmark Knight Frank, who is the listing broker representing the developer Ambient Communities.
Later this year, crews will break ground on the next phase of the center, which will be along Elfin Forest Road. Plans call for a two-story building with 7,700 square feet of commercial space.
There’s been interest from several businesses, including fitness groups, yoga studios, medical offices, one of the nation’s top five banks and other destination-oriented retailers, Jennings said.
“These are some of the ideas we’re open to, but we are not committed to anything yet,” Jennings said. “Whatever businesses end up there, we want it to be the right fit for the community.”
The nearby Albertsons grocery store, for example, owns its location—meaning the national chain has invested in the community, Jennings pointed out.
“So far, we’ve managed to attract the right type of businesses, and the sales back that,” he said. “It also tells us the community is embracing this place, so we know we’re on the right path.”
For more information about San Elijo Town Center, please visit ambientcommunities.com.
To learn more about the City’s economic development division, contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.