Mixed-use may not always work
Some North County mixed-use developments that have been in the planning stages for years are now running into problems.
In San Marcos, the Promenade at Creekside opened last year with shop fronts at street level and two stories of affordable housing above. While the housing now has a waiting list of 700, most of the storefronts at street level are vacant.
Mayor Jim Desmond said the city is rethinking the project.
“That was the intent, to make this a walkable community so you didn’t have to get into your car to get a gallon of milk or go to a dry cleaner or to a baker,” he said. “It was going to be retail on the first floor and maybe professional offices on the next floor, and then residential up above. We actually had plans up to seven stories. But that hasn’t really worked.”
Desmond said the city is now reviewing the whole project and considering reducing the retail to perhaps just a corner store, because the retail space is simply not finding tenants.
“The retail stores — the mom and pop shops — are struggling now,” Desmond said, “primarily because of the online sales. A lot of people — myself included — go to Amazon to buy things. It’s sometimes quicker and easier to buy things online than it is to go to the store.”