At its Oct. 22 hearing, The San Diego Planning Commission recommended approval of Riverwalk San Diego.
Hines, the international real estate firm, will transform the existing Riverwalk golf course in western Mission Valley into a 200-acre, live-work-play transit-oriented neighborhood. Hines will also restore the stretch of the San Diego River that runs through Riverwalk.
Riverwalk will include:
- 4,300 homes (10% of which will be income-qualified affordable housing), ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes
- A new San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Green-Line trolley stop at the center of the development
- 152,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail, creating a town center around the transit stop
- 1 million square feet of office space
- Roughly 100 acres of parks and open space (20% active, 80% passive) that will be open to all San Diegans
- Transportation improvements, including:
- Intelligent traffic signals and new entryways on Friars Road
- Flood capacity improvements to Fashion Valley Road
- New bike and pedestrian paths, including extension of the San Diego River Trail
The Riverwalk plan, established through a partnership between Hines and the Levi-Cushman family landowners, incorporated extensive community input, gathered over several years by the Hines team in nearly 100 stakeholder and community planning group meetings and charettes.
“We appreciate that the planning commissioners recognized the extensive community outreach and collaboration that helped form our plan and the care we’re taking to create an environmentally responsible, transit-oriented legacy project for San Diego,” said Eric Hepfer, managing director at Hines.
The planning commissioners spoke favorably of Riverwalk’s transit-oriented design; attention to park space and river restoration; consideration for alternative modes of transportation; and provision of housing.
“I think it could be something to set the standard for what transit-oriented development can look like,” said San Diego Planning Commissioner Vicki Granowitz.
The project will advance to the San Diego City Council for approval on Nov. 17. If approved, Hines expects to break ground during the second half of 2021.
The new Riverwalk neighborhood will parallel the framework of the recently updated Mission Valley Community Plan that rezones the entire region to allow for more mixed-used development near San Diego’s Green Line trolley.
The Riverwalk plan replaces entitlements previously established by a different firm for a vehicle-oriented plan with large blocks, no pedestrian connectivity, minimal continuous open space, no focus on transit and development encroaching on the San Diego River.
Due to its extensive and thoughtful circulation plan, Circulate San Diego awarded Riverwalk San Diego a Mobility Certification and testified on the project’s behalf. The Mobility Certification program evaluates and endorses transit-oriented, smart growth projects in the San Diego region that meet the program’s aspirational standards.
Riverwalk also received support from the San Diego Riverpark Foundation, YIMBY Democrats, The San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, IBEW 569, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Climate Action Campaign Mission Valley Planning Group (unanimous vote) and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Planning Commission recommended approval of Riverwalk by a vote of five in favor, one abstention and one commissioner absent.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 225 cities in 25 countries. Hines has approximately $144.1 billion of assets under management, including $75.5 billion for which Hines serves as investment manager, including non- real estate assets, and $68.6 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 165 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,426 properties, totaling over 472 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 576 properties, representing over 246 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit www.hines.com for more information.