CARLSBAD — In 2009, the city of Carlsbad polled residents to find out what they viewed for the city’s future and released the report “Envision Carlsbad.”
Residents voiced their opinions on everything from parks, to open space to important amenities.
Residents also shared what they hoped to see along Carlsbad Boulevard east of Ponto Beach.
The 50-acre parcel was completely vacant when Envision Carlsbad was published.
Fast forward to 2015 and the site is home to the Hilton Oceanfront Resort and Spa, which was just rebranded as Cape Rey.
There is also an 11-acre parcel of land, which is used by drone aficionados, dog walkers and beach-goers looking to park their cars.
Shopoff Realty Investments purchased the site and just submitted the first round of plans for Ponto Beachfront, a mixed-use development site.
Over the last year, staff from Shopoff has been reaching out to nearby residents to get their input on the development.
“We have been working on the property for several years and have spent a lot of time and resources meeting with stakeholders to develop our plan,” said Bill Shopoff, president and CEO of Shopoff Realty. “We are very proud of that effort, and are encouraged by the initial response from the community.”
The plan will include 76 luxury townhomes, 42 townhome lofts and 73 apartment homes.
It will also provide nearly 50,000 square feet of commercial and public space.
It’s still in the very early stages, and will likely receive comments back from the city within the next few weeks.
After that, Planning Consultant Mike Howes will make changes according to the city’s requests.
The development will need approval from the Planning Commission, the City Council and the California Coastal Commission.
The process could take three to five years, depending on approvals, said Brian Rupp, vice president of Shopoff Realty Investments.
Thus far, Rupp said nearby residents have warmed to the idea of a mixed-use development since it will offer another place to eat and relax.
“Residents are looking for somewhere to go,” Rupp said.
“I’ve heard that from a lot from residents, ‘we need somewhere we can walk to,’” he said.
The commercial space will also serve the needs of campers at the nearby state campgrounds.
There will be 13,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and 36,000 square feet of public plaza at the corner of Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard.
The project will be three stories, with the commercial space on the bottom and the apartments and townhomes on the second and third floors.
There will be ocean views in the apartments and a ground floor restaurant will include a raised patio, to give diners a view of the ocean as well.
The site will add more public parking for beach users once Ponto Drive is widened.
Currently, 41 spaces are available, but after the widening, people will be able to park on both sides of the street, which makes for 62 parking spots.
Since it’s still very early in the pre-development phases, no retail clients have been secured but the area is highly utilized by cyclists, so the possibility of a bike shop is being considered.
Shopoff staff is still taking public input and can be reached online at pontobeachfront.com.