SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In a couple of years, a small shopping center off of Del Cerro Blvd and Madra Avenue could look completely different. Plans are in the works for a multi-story building with 114 apartment units and some businesses on the first level, that would replace the two buildings currently occupied by three tenants.
But neighbors that spoke with 10News say they are frustrated about the plan, saying it would cause a traffic and parking nightmare, and that the proposed six-story building would be too tall for that location.
“I feel sad because I know everybody here, I know the customers, it's like family,” said Oscar Ramos, who works at Madra Liquor & Deli, one of the businesses that would be demolished to make room for the new project.
“I'm going to miss the customers, and I love everybody,” said Ramos. He tells 10News he has worked at the store for nearly half his life, 25 years. Ramos said he will be looking for a new job come November 30th when the leases in the area are terminated.
The owner of the business in the second building, “Define U Fitness” said he has been looking for a new location to move to, and the third tenant in the area, Coar Design Group, is actually the architect of the planned project.
ABC 10News heard from Jeff Katz, the president of Tapestry Development Company, which is the project's developer.
He said he gave tenants a heads up about the project nearly three years ago, and that official notice went out about a month ago. He said the location has been identified by the City of San Diego for higher-density development housing.
“The purpose of higher density housing in transit priority areas, is to get housing closer to mass transit, in this case, closer to the freeway,” said Katz. “This project it is near the trolley, San Diego State, it is near public transportation.”
He also said the project would include 146 parking spaces, but neighbors tell 10News that won’t be enough for 114 apartment units if more than one person lives in each unit.
Katz said that plans have been submitted and he's in the process of obtaining final approvals from the city.
“We're anticipating starting construction sometime early next year, we're looking at a two-year time frame,” he said.
The City of San Diego tells ABC 10News the application was received and is in the process of being reviewed.
The City of San Diego is pleased to have a new proposed housing development in a location so close to San Diego State University. By using the Complete Communities [sandiego.gov] program, developers can opt-in to the Housing Solutions regulations incentive program that will help the City meet its Regional Housing Needs Allocation targets for affordable housing and the City's CAP goals by incentivizing the construction of housing in multi-family and mixed-use commercial areas served by transit, while investing in neighborhood amenities, such as recreational opportunities, linear parks, urban plazas, cultural amenities and promenades.