Our City San Diego | Packing the trolley

On a regular basis I play tennis in Mission Valley on courts that are adjacent to the trolley line. I marvel at the sheer emptiness of the trolleys. Often, they have colorful graphics that mask their emptiness, but the fact remains that mass transit has yet to take a stand in San Diego.

Yet, there is hope! As I look at the incredible amount of development that is in the Mission Valley pipeline and the near-term connection of the trolley with UTC/UCSD, it is possible that the trolley will be filled with happy non-drivers someday.

We have been inundated with Soccer City/SDSU prattle, virtually ignoring the myriad of new developments that are really going to happen in our lifetime.

The developments can be segmented into those south of the river (yes, there is the raging San Diego River) and those north of the river.

South of the river, the Dinerstein dynasty is just now completing the 305-unit Millenium Mission Valley apartment complex. Next to it, on the site of the long-suffering Witt Lincoln dealership will be a 267-unit apartment project, both designed by Tom Cox, a very good architect.

And a short way down the street, Trammell Crow will soon dismantle the old MH Golden office complex and erect a 284-unit apartment complex. If you stroll further west, the old Union Tribune site will provide another 200-units right up against the Riverfront.

Topping out that chain of residences will be as many as 900 units to be built by Lowe Enterprises on the Town and Country property.

In case you are not counting, that’s 2,000 residential units.

And last, on the south side, there is the Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center that will be a religious-themed project with a hotel,  restaurants, a theater and religious exhibits. Cerullo is 85-years old so I suspect he will move quickly to complete the project.

Now let’s go to the north side of the river.

Going from west to east, there is the Riverwalk property to the south of Friars Road. Ultimately, that property could have 4,000 residential units (some of which will be south of the river). The owner has walked down the aisle with several major potential mates of late but none has been willing to take the last step. But it will happen.

Then there is the recently approved Landcap property on the north side of Friars Road, with 320 mid-rise units, replacing three dysfunctional office buildings.

Next is the Sudberry/Grant’s Civita project with as many as 4,800 units. It is well on its way and has just completed a lovely 14-acre park (the only one in Mission Valley so far).

And finally, the beleaguered Qualcomm site. I guess it will always be called the Qualcomm site even after its sign-rights are up next year.

Nonetheless, whether it’s Soccer City or an Aztec encampment, it will eventually get built with a stadium, dorms, 4,000-5,000 residential units and, no doubt, many classroom buildings and laboratories.  And probably another park.

Add along with me: 2,000 units south of the river and 13,000 north of the river for a grand total of 15,000 residential units and therefore, about 25,000 people plus the SDSU students, most all with daily commuting needs.

With that many people, some folks will just have to take the trolley. Finally.

Read more at Packing the trolley.