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Gateway Grand project will transform downtown


Artist’s rendering of the Gateway Grand Project, which has begun construction on the site of the old Escondido police headquarters.

Work has begun on the Gateway Grand Project, a private development of 126 multi-story residential units in the old property once occupied by the Escondido Police Department HQ.

According to Bill Martin, director of community development, the project “fits in with our whole plan for that area, densifying the core of the city and bringing in more people.”

Besides the 126 units there will be a “flex space” of about 1,000 square feet that could be used either for commercial or as an amenity for the residents, like a clubhouse.

The units will be market rate residential without any affordable housing, i.e. selling for whatever the market will bear. 

One key aspect of the development that appealed to the city government is that the Gateway Grand Project will be across the street from the Escondido Transit Center, which is served by both North County Transit District buses and the Sprinter light rail line.

“It’s part of the city’s smart growth strategies,” said Martin. “Trying to make transportation more readily available and usable by the residents. They [the developer] was able to get a slight reduction in the number of parking spaces they provide on-site in return for providing a connection to the transit center.” This includes an “on demand signal” that will only create a red light for motorist when pedestrians signal that they want to cross Valley Parkway. 

Construction has begun. “They are building underground utilities right now and they will be pouring the slab pretty soon,” said Martin. 

The project will consist of condominiums, ready to be sold, although they will be leased out initially. Once sold, the condos will be subject to HOA requirements. The developer will have an interim leasing office on site to manage the residences at first. 

Martin added, “I think it’s kind of what you are going to see more of in our downtown, midrise, four story with some lofts. Between three story town homes and the high rise. That’s what we are seeing interest from for from the building community.” A similar multistory development, Longitude 33° is going up on Centre City Parkway & Washington, just a few blocks away.’’

Martin added, “We are carrying out the council’s vision as spelled out in the General Plan.”

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