Carlsbad ‘steps into 21st century’ with four-story mixed-use building

Carlsbad ‘steps into 21st century’ with four-story mixed-use building
The four-story mixed-use building on State Street and Oak Avenue will have a commercial space on the ground floor and a roof top patio with ocean views. Courtesy rendering

CARLSBAD— City Council unanimously approved the demolition of seven homes on the corner of State Street and Oak Avenue to make way for a four-story mixed-use building.

Mayor Matt Hall excused himself from the vote because he owns property nearby.

The building will house 14 residential apartments, 13 timeshare units and a commercial space on the ground floor.

There will be two three-bedroom units reserved for affordable housing, as required by state law.
The other units range from 740 to 1,360 square feet and are one and two-bedrooms.

It was designed by Carlsbad architect Edward McArdle of MAA Architects, Inc.

The developer, Daniel Cox of State and Oak Properties LLP, said the smaller residential would hopefully bring younger families to Carlsbad Village.

“We hope that we’re going to be able to bring younger people and younger families to be able to afford these units with the lower price point and just bring more vibrancy to State Street,” Cox said.

The building will have a ground floor garage with 33 parking spaces.

The site is required to have 53 parking spaces so Cox opted to participate in the Village Parking-in-Lieu Fee program.

The program allows developers to pay the city for the use of public parking spaces if nearby public parking is available.

The public parking lot must have an average occupancy rate of 84 percent or less, to ensure ample public parking remains available, according to Associate City Planner Jason Goff.

Two nearby lots have an average occupancy rate of 65 percent, Goff told the council.

The parking-in-lieu funds go towards maintenance of existing parking spaces and the construction of new spaces, said Goff.

Councilman Michael Schumacher said that the parking in-lieu fees work now, but a long-term plan is needed to plan for 20 years down the road.

He went on to say that the development will be one to watch, since there are not many mixed-use buildings in Carlsbad.

“It will be interesting to see how the two uses work out between the residential and the timeshare,” Schumacher said.

City ordinance dictates that timeshare occupants are allowed to stay a maximum of four months.

The developer is from British Columbia, Canada, and discovered Carlsbad about five years ago with his dad.

“We just kept coming back and realized it’s just way nicer than San Diego and the opportunity presented itself with this project,” Cox said.

He is working alongside his dad and they plan to reserve a unit for their own use.

Two residents of the houses slated for demolition spoke out against the project.

Melissa Schneider told the council that she sees these types of projects as driving up prices and pushing out residents.

“This makes me sad,” Schneider said with a heavy sigh. “I see buildings like this and I see the charm of Carlsbad slipping away. We could afford to live there now but we won’t be able to live in that,” she said of the new project.

Councilman Keith Blackburn told Schneider her complaints weren’t falling on deaf ears and he approved the modern building with “about 80 percent” of his heart.

“I agree it’s difficult for us to step into the 21st century and say goodbye to the quaint part of Carlsbad,” Blackburn said, “but you know what, it’s because we are stepping into 21st century that we have to keep up with the times.”

Fox hopes to begin construction by April or May and believes the project will take about a year to complete.

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