Carlsbad eyes residential development for mall parking lot

A proposal to build housing on part of the parking lot at The Shoppes at Carlsbad shopping center progressed last week with the Carlsbad City Council forming a team to negotiate with developers.

“Together, we can develop a shared vision…that meets the wants and needs of the community as a vibrant center for shopping, housing, open public spaces and mobility,” states a January 20 letter from Tony Pauker, vice president of land, land and housing acquisition for Brookfield Properties.

Brookfield owns the mall and approximately 21 acres, it is west of El Camino Real, just south of State Route 78. The City of Carlsbad owns the 67-acre parking lot surrounding the mall , including about 10 acres at the north end of the lot. it’s in Oceanside.

Carlsbad has been talking for years about finding a developer for parts of the property it owns.

“These parking lots are not as used as they have been for decades, with more people shopping online,” a recent report from city staff said. As a result, “significantly large parcel” is available for residential or commercial development.

A plan to build 321 apartments or condominiums, a 214-room hotel and more retail stores on 24 acres of asphalt between the west end of the mall and a North County Transit District bus stop was presented to council municipality in 2017.

Rouse Properties, which came up with the development plan, had bought the mall from longtime owner Westfield Corporation in 2015. But the deal didn’t work out, and soon after all of Rouse’s properties were absorbed. by Brookfield.

Last year, the city proposed a deal with San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to relocate the utility company’s service center to Cannon Road and Carlsbad Boulevard on approximately 12 acres on the northwest side of the downtown parking lot. commercial. This arrangement, which would have ceded ownership of the coastal service center to the city, also fell through. Now it looks like the service center will stay where it is, possibly with realigned boundaries.

Any lease or sale of City Mall property would have to comply with the state’s Surplus Land Act, which requires notification of various government agencies and interested parties.

To sell the property or lease it for five years or more, the city would have to declare it surplus. In previous negotiations with Rouse, the city had discussed a 55- to 99-year lease.

City council members voted unanimously on Tuesday to continue negotiations and expressed confidence in the team, which will include the city attorney, deputy city manager, property manager and others.

“I think you have the process under control,” said board member Carolyn Luna. “I’m confident that whatever happens, the team will do a good job.”

It’s important to find the best possible use of the land, Councilor Teresa Acosta said.

The city acquired the property around the mall in two phases. He obtained the first 30 acres for the purpose of providing financial assistance to the developer when the mall, considered a regional mall, opened in 1969.

Then in 1975 Carlsbad entered into a lease with an option to purchase an additional 10 acres in Oceanside to expand the parking lot, and it then purchased that land in 1992. Carlsbad purchased additional pieces of the parking lot in 1978, 1979 and nineteen eighty one.

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