By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR | November 6th, 2019
The news of Protea turning a long-empty parking lot in Bay Park into a new mixed use development called Bayview Plaza, adjacent to the Clairemont Dr trolley station sparked a lot of conversations and questions amongst the community. The plan is not only to offer luxury apartments but also, affordable housing included on-site and a retail and community space that will be open to everyone. Naturally, when Protea announced their 4 hour open house in Bay Park, I attended so I could get some of your most pressing questions answered. I hope you enjoy the read and most importantly, that you share your thoughts and comments. In fact, Protea is very much all ears in listening to the community and will be following this blog post to make sure that your voices are heard!
One of the first things I noticed walking into the open house was the sheer number of staff members that were present to greet the community. In addition to Protea’s president being on site, his entire team was, too. Everyone I spoke to was clearly passionate about the project and they kept asking for feedback. For instance, they had posters on the wall with all of their ideas, and asked people to vote for what they wanted to see and use color coded stickers; green sticker meant high priority, blue meant medium, and yellow was low priority. But first, let’s talk about the concept.
Bayview Plaza will offer 156 apartments out of which 140 will be market-rate and 16 will be affordable for families earning up to 50% of the Area Median Income. There will be a mix of studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments up to 1,200 sq ft. The project also proposes 86 residential parking spaces, 137 commercial spots and 150 stalls reserved for the transit riders. The demographics that Protea thinks will be most attracted to these apartments are young professionals who have no desire of owning a car and use various modes of transportation including the trolley, bicycles, and Uber/Lyft. These same professionals are typically more interested in rentals than rooting themselves into one home.
Voting for favorites
The first poster on the wall showed the various ideas for the retail experience of Bayview Plaza. Ideas include a specialty market, chain grocery store, coffee shop, frozen yogurt, brewery tasting room, wine bar, fine dining restaurant, fast casual restaurant, hair salon/barber, yoga/pilates/small fitness and co-working space.
The second poster on the wall displayed the landscape amenities. Ideas include a water feature, fire feature, comfy seating, outdoor games, kids play area, and outdoor fitness circuit.
The third poster on the wall showcased mobility hub features. Ideas include bike racks, real time transit information, micro-mobility charging station, digital display board, Amazon lockers, bike repair station, mobile retail / amenity vending machine, and dry cleaning lockers.
The fourth poster on the wall featured public improvements. Ideas include an enhanced sidewalk at Clairemont Dr with landscape buffer, a gateway sign, an accessible ramp connection from Morena Blvd to Clairemont Dr bridge to Bay, a widened pedestrian crosswalk at Morena & Ingulf, a pedestrian crossing at Chicago St, and a rideshare dropoff at Morena or Ingulf.
Finally, there was a flipchart for people to write their favorite ideas and/or new ones. New ideas include more parking, widen Morena Blvd, noise abatement, more greenery, more affordable units, and less height.
Speaking of height, a very hot topic, the tallest point in the development will be an elevator shaft at 76ft. The tallest point of the building itself will be 55ft. Another hot topic is parking, which Protea is cognizant of. There will be plenty of trolley parking spaces in addition to the spaces reserved for the residential units, and the idea is to leverage those trolley parking spots when they will not be used so as to maximize their usage and alleviate concerns.
As far as timeline goes, there is a review process taking place this month with city staff and the Community Planning Group. It is very important to attend the Community Planning Group as the project is looking for a recommendation. In winter 2020, the project will seek the neighborhood development permit, after which the plans and permitting can begin. Construction is slated for mid 2020-mid 2022, dependant upon SANDAG’s turnover of the property.
It is noteworthy that Bayview Plaza does not fall under the Morena Corridor Specific Plan. There has been some confusion about that and various groups voicing their thoughts on Bayview Plaza as part of the Morena Corridor Plan.
The upcoming meetings, which are open for everyone to attend, are as follows:
11/13 – Project Review Subcommittee – 6 p.m. @ St Marks United Methodist Church
11/19 – Community Planning Group – 6 p.m. @ Alcott Elementary School
So, what are your thoughts? How do you feel about this development taking over the empty lot? Do you have any questions that have not been answered? Please feel free to comment below!
About Protea Properties: Protea Properties is a San Diego-based and privately held real estate investment, development and management group with over 20 years’ experience in retail, mixed-use, office, hospitality and residential markets.
About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established San Diego Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as representing her clients in selling and acquiring the biggest investment of their lives. She will go above and beyond for those who place their trust in her. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804.