SAN MARCOS — After years of delays, it appears the developer of San Marcos’ San Elijo Hills community is ready to start work on the second phase of the community’s Town Center.
City officials said they are expecting San Elijo Hills Development Co. to break ground on the lower portion of the town center this summer, after the city approves its grading plan and building permits.
“Final grading plan approvals and building permits are expected to be completed by this summer, which are the final steps in the entitlement process,” City Manager Jack Griffin said in an email response to The Coast News. “The developer plans to break ground this summer.”
The second phase will include 12 residential townhouses and 23,000 square feet of retail space.
The Town Center, which is the unofficial “downtown” of the San Marcos community, currently includes a grocery store, gas station and bank, as well as retail units on the ground floor of mixed-used developments.
The last portion of the center that was finished was the gas station in 2008, but efforts to complete the Town Center stalled as a result of the recession, which ground much of the county’s retail development to a halt.
Since then, the three vacant lots, which sit near the heart of the master-planned community, have sat vacant and become a notable eyesore to residents.
In 2015, the developer updated the website with a message that said that the town center’s second phase was moving forward.
“San Elijo Hills Development Company is thrilled to share that we are working with an experienced and proven retail developer toward an agreement to build the second phase of the Town Center,” the message stated. “This next phase includes the open lot behind Chevron, the entire open lot across from the existing retail and the parcel of land directly behind Café Stoked leading up to Schoolhouse Way.”
The community, which borders Carlsbad on San Marcos’ southern edge, has about 3,000 homes and condominium units and a population of more than 7,000 and includes a large elementary and middle school near its center, and a recently completed K-8 school at the top of San Elijo Road.