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Hobby Lobby, DMV progressing in San Marcos

SAN MARCOS — A new Department of Motor Vehicles office in San Marcos, which was originally scheduled to open this month, is now slated for a late summer opening, San Marcos officials said this week.

The shell of the DMV building, which is under construction on Rancheros Drive betwen Twin Oaks Valley Blvd and Woodland Parkway, has taken shape over the past few months. The delay is the result of belated state approvals needed to complete some off-site traffic improvements, city spokeswoman Sarah MacDonald said.

“We’re making good progress on the building,” MacDonald said.

The 29,500-square-foot DMV office will replace a temporary site on Descanso Avenue in San Marcos, which replaced a field office in Escondido that closed in 2013. The city is using more than $11 million in reserves to finance construction of the building.

A Hobby Lobby that is under construction at the site of the former Lowe’s in the Creekside Marketplace is also on pace to be completed around the same time as the DMV, MacDonald said.

The Hobby Lobby will occupy about 60,000 square feet of the former Lowe’s space: A WinCo grocery story, which will occupy the other 91,000 square feet, is on schedule for completion in the late fall.

The city used a unique financing method to pay for the construction of the trio of projects, dipping into its reserves and paying back the money with rental revenues from the tenants. A delay in the opening of the DMV will mean the city won’t get about a month’s worth of lease revenue this fiscal year, but it won’t impact the city’s budget outlook long term, officials said.