COAST CITIES — The San Diego City Council voted unanimously April 19 to approve the revitalization of Protea Properties’ Flower Hill Promenade shopping center. This decision, which follows approval from the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board and city of San Diego Planning Commission, represents the final approval needed to allow construction to begin.
The construction will include a Whole Foods market, new retail boutiques and office space in the Flower Hill Promenade. The project is expected to open in 2012.
“We are thrilled the City Council voted to support the revitalization,” said Jeffrey Essakow, president of Protea Properties. “This decisive victory reflects seven years of work developing a plan in concert with the community that will bring the type of center that this community deserves.”
Representatives from Spindrift, a community of 144 homes directly north of the shopping center, were reportedly persuasive advocates for the revitalization. Prior to the vote, the council heard testimony from neighbors, tenants and shoppers from the center. A number of supporters attended the hearing wearing stickers that said “Yes on Flower Hill!” The display of support prompted the council to remark on Protea’s commitment to the community.
“After working closely with Protea to refine the revitalization plans over the course of several months, we are pleased to see the City Council allow this project to move forward,” said Horace Dietrich, president of the Spindrift Homeowners Association. “We believe these kinds of changes are definitely needed and will provide significant benefits to our community.”
Spindrift residents initially expressed concerns about the revitalization due to the potential realignment of Flower Hill Drive, on the shopping center’s property and serves as the only access to Spindrift. The city originally proposed to move Flower Hill Drive north of Taste of Thai restaurant.
At the community’s request, Protea amended its plans to maintain Flower Hill Drive in its current position and recirculated the project’s environmental document. As a result, the Spindrift Homeowners Association voted unanimously to support the revitalization.
Flower Hill Promenade is located in the San Diego city limits, just south of Solana Beach. The proposed project will add new shops, boutique office space and a parking structure tucked into the hillside. The revitalization will also refresh the existing shopping center and its collection of boutiques and locally-owned shops.