Progress Possible for San Elijo Hills Town Center

Residents express frustration over delays in town-center project
By Linda Lou

January 12, 2008

SAN MARCOS – San Elijo Hills residents could be seeing some signs of progress with their long-awaited town-center project of homes and shops.

Two building permits have been approved, San Marcos officials said this week. HomeFed Corp., developer of the 3,400-home San Elijo Hills community in southwestern San Marcos, is also developing the town center.

Plans to mix residences with businesses in a commercial area appeared in 2003. The project has been presented as a walkable commercial village with 40 two-story townhomes above 26 ground-floor retail shops. It also would have a grocery store, gas station and other detached buildings, such as offices, a church and a day-care center.

The first homes in the development were sold in late 2000. So far in the town center, a Chevron gas station has opened and construction of an Albertsons market is under way. The store is expected to be completed in June.

Residents have become increasingly frustrated over delays with the stores, saying they still don’t have convenient shopping and are wondering why dirt isn’t being moved more quickly.

HomeFed officials have said a downturn in the housing market has affected the progress. In October, a company representative said the town center will be built but didn’t provide estimated construction dates. This week, city officials said a building permit for 12 of the townhomes, or first phase, was issued last month, and another building permit for the remainder of the mixed-use project, or second phase, is ready to be released to the developer. The permits don’t apply to the detached buildings. Paul Borden, president of HomeFed Corp., said yesterday that the company is still evaluating a timeline for completion of the town center and expects to make a decision in the next month or so.

Watch a San Elijo Resident Speak before San Marcos City Council on Town Center Project

Also watch San Marcos City Council commentary by Chris Orlando on San Marcos gang injunction

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