The Coast News Group

Condo project gets the OK

ESCONDIDO — A sizable residential project was given the green light by the City Council to break ground.

Gateway Grand, a 126-unit condominium complex, also includes a potential mixed-use component of about 1,000 square-feet for commercial purposes. The council approved the project on Oct. 12.

The size of the residential units, meanwhile, ranges from 810-sqaure feet to 2,090 featuring one bedroom lofts and two- and three-bedroom townhomes with three buildings associated with the project by Integral Communities.

The city, meanwhile, will receive $2.5 million for the property, which will be deposited into the General Fund reserve account.

Gateway Grand is on a 2.59-acre lot at the former headquarters for the Escondido Police Department in the Gateway Transit District of the Downtown Specific Plan. The buildings will be three, four and five stories.

The old police building, however, will be demolished.

Amenities, meanwhile, include shared parking on the ground floor of each building consisting of 226 spaces. Although it is lower than city standards, it is higher than those recommended by the San Diego Area of Governments (SANDAG).

Still, planning commissioners expressed concerns over the parking spots during its Sept. 13 meeting.

Commissioner Gregory Johns said he believed the project would have overflowed demand and questioned where it would occur. In addition, he said neither the city’s nor SANDAG requirements were adequate for this project.

Johns abstained from the vote, which was approved 4-0-1. Secretary Bill Martin, meanwhile, said the parking management plan, plus the transit-oriented location, would be adequate.

Calls to Martin and Waite were not returned.

Greg Waite, who represented Integral Communities, said other possibilities are outlined in the management plan.

According to the development agreement, Integral Communities, which has an office in Encinitas, will be allowed to pay existing development fees to begin construction more quickly and is also eligible for water and wastewater fee credits of $40,960 and $51,148, respectively.

The developer is also required to install signalized pedestrian crossings on West Valley Parkway and on West Grand Avenue at the Spruce Street intersection.

Amenities include an outdoor recreational area with a pool and spa, a fitness room and outdoor patio. Bicycle storage will be provided in the garage of each building.

The flex space, which could be used as a commercial space, could also be used to provide additional amenities.