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Carlsbad Station
A rendering shows the State Street view of Carlsbad Station in the Village, which is an 83-unit project approved by the City Council on Oct. 13. Photo courtesy McKellar McGowan
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Carlsbad Station development gets council approval

CARLSBAD — A new, large-scale mixed-use project is coming to Carlsbad Village.

Carlsbad Station was approved by the City Council, 3-1, with Councilwoman Cori Schumacher voting no, during its Oct. 13 meeting. Schumacher expressed concerns with the affordable housing component, housing agreement and whether those units will be for sale or rent.

The project consists of 79 residential and four commercial units in two buildings along State and Roosevelt streets between Grand and Beech avenues, by developer McKellar McGowan.

The total size of the project is 177,95-square feet and will displace a number of businesses such as Mas Fina Cantina, Hennessey’s Tavern, Carlsbad Yoga and Karlsbad Realty, to name a few.

“I like the architecture and hearing that you’re going to incorporate some of the existing tenants back in,” Mayor Matt Hall said of the developer and local businesses.

Carlsbad Station
A rendering shows the Roosevelt Street view of Carlsbad Station in the Village, which is an 83-unit project approved by the City Council on Oct. 13. Photo courtesy McKellar McGowan

The developer also received a 35% increase in the project’s density and includes 12 affordable housing units with 143 underground parking spaces. The unit’s range between 747-square feet and 2,840.

Christine Davis, executive director of the Carlsbad Village Business Association, said the project will be a benefit for the area.

“I know growth can be scary, but it is being well done in the Village,” she said. “CVA is looking forward to the economic vitality that it will bring to the Village.”

Several business owners expressed frustration with the decision, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to survive as a business and having to find new locations within the next year before construction begins.

Mas Fina Cantina owner Andy Davis said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome and has been walking a thin line the past several months. Naturally, he said, he doesn’t want to move his business and isn’t sure why such another massive project is needed in the Village given the traffic and parking concerns.

However, he said he is now looking to move his restaurant but is adamant about remaining in the Village. Andy Davis said he is on a month-to-month lease and has at least four potential moving sites.

The challenge, though, has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which has eaten into some of his savings, never mind the challenge of just keeping the doors open. He said it will be at least 12 months before ground is broken on the new project.

“I was frustrated with some of the lack of transparency,” Andy Davis said. “I didn’t have any fantasies this wouldn’t pass. I’m on the hunt for the right fit for Cantina.”

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