SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- On Friday crews will begin the process of demolishing the old Palomar Hospital in downtown Escondido and replacing it with what is envisioned as a live, work, play destination.
The new development, called Palomar Heights, will include 510 new homes, a retail farmers market, a coworking space, a coffee shop, gym, and a rooftop bar and restaurant, 75 feet above downtown Escondido.
"People that work in Escondido, it's nice to have housing that's attainable and close to downtown, and that was our main goal of building the project was being close to downtown so it's walkable to the local businesses," said Lance Waite, principal for developer Integral Communities.
The development will include 258 apartments that will start at about $2,000 a month, 162 townhomes that will sell from the low to mid $500,000s, and 90 senior living apartments.
Melissa Inez Walker, who owns Distinction Gallery on Grand Avenue, said the development could help businesses like hers.
"What we really need downtown, we've got great restaurants, we have great shopping, art galleries, things to do, but we really, really need more foot traffic and housing," she said.
The demolition will take about six months, and construction of Palomar Heights is expected to take two years after that on the 16-acre site.