Developer chooses to build mall instead of homes

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County is in desperate need of more housing, but a developer who owns land earmarked for it wants to build a new mall.

Keith Gregory of South Coast Development LLC said no apartment or housing company wanted to invest in the land located in Lakeside, just south of Olde Highway 80 near Lake Jennings Park Road. Gregory said they had major concerns, such as too much freeway noise.

"It makes it next to impossible to design a market-based project because the noise gets into the patio areas and into the yard areas," Gregory said.

Gregory said, however, that the land is prime for a shopping center because there are several underserved communities nearby. He's asking the County Board of Supervisors to rezone the nearly 10-acre parcel to allow for the center. It would include a grocery store, bank, restaurant, gas station and other retail.

However, business owners in the area are expressing concerns about the proposal.

Joe Brunetto, who owns Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant across the street, said he's worried about traffic, ease of access and more pollution.

"I'm not afraid of competition," he said. "We wouldn't be in business 62 years. I just take care of my business and that's how I take care of competition."

The board will take up the item Wednesday morning.
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