The Carlsbad City Council approved changes to the La Costa Town Square project, including revisions to the section of the project set aside for more dense multifamily units in favor of single-family detached homes, and capping the size of the two-story anchor store to 100,000 square feet.
In addition to restricting the size of the anchor store to 100,000 square feet, the store will only be allowed to carry 10 percent of non-taxable (food) items. Stock keeping units, known as SKUs, carried at the store will also be limited to 30,000 items or a lesser amount determined by city council. The restrictions put in place by the City Council will eliminate the possibility of certain mass-retailers moving in, something opposed by some of the project’s neighbors.
The project is a combination shopping center, office and residential project on 83 acres at the northeast corner of Rancho Santa Fe Road and La Costa Avenue. According to the project developer, Aspen Properties, the center could begin construction as soon as summer 2010 and open by the end of 2011.
The project, which has been compared to the popular Forum shopping center in South Carlsbad, is slated to include restaurants, shops, banks, gas stations, retail stores, small kiosks, a drug store, a grocery store and a department store. The project’s design features a main street feel with a clock tower and open air plazas that can be used as community gathering places. The project is also designed to be walkable, connecting to surrounding neighborhoods with new sidewalks, trails and bikeways.
By 2012, Aspen Properties estimates that almost $1 million in new sales tax revenues will be generated for the City of Carlsbad’s general fund, an increase of about 20 percent over the sales tax revenues now generated by existing shopping centers within the city. The city’s general fund pays for basic city services such as police, fire and parks.
Traffic generated by the project was accounted for with the recent widening and realignment of Rancho Santa Fe Road. The developer has committed to pay $9.5 million in traffic fees, much of which would go toward street improvements, new traffic signals and synchronizing traffic signals to improve traffic flow in the area.
The city’s General Plan has designated the project site for commercial and residential uses since the early 1970s as part of the La Costa Master Plan. The General Plan sets out a long-range vision and comprehensive policy framework for how the city should plan for projected growth and development and provide public services.