A $103.5 million mixed-use project is laying down roots in Pacific Beach, breaking ground on a site that will one day house new homes and retail shops.
JPI Development held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for its Jefferson Pacific Beach project, a development at 4275 Mission Bay Dr. that will feature 172 luxury apartment units and 14,000 square feet of retail and creative office space.
The mixed-use project is being built on the site of the former Guy Hill Cadillac dealership, near Rosewood Street, adjacent to Mission Bay Park.
JPI said renters at the complex will enjoy some bells and whistles, including a DYI surfboard repair area, a dog wash area, and a bike repair station – amenities suited to active life in Pacific Beach.
According to JPI, the project is among the first private investment developments along that stretch of road in decades. It will be designed to be a "gateway" into Mission Bay Park and Pacific Beach.
Sarah Berns, executive director of Discover Pacific Beach, the business improvement district for PB, said there is a lot of support for the development among residents and businesses in the community.
"This is a key location in our business district. It’s the first impression thousands, and thousands of cars get every day of our business district, so we want a good project here, one that the community supports, one that the businesses support," Berns explained.
The development was approved by the Pacific Beach Planning Group in May 2016.
Since then, Berns said JPI has done a lot of community outreach, holding meetings with locals to get input and preparing PB for the project.
In those meetings, the main concerns raised by residents were traffic congestion and the availability of public parking in the area.
Once completed, Jefferson Pacific Beach will include 67 office and retail parking spaces.
As part of the development, JPI will upgrade seven existing traffic signals with "adaptive traffic control signalization," which allows for lights to sync together and help the flow of traffic through the busy corridor. The developer will also add one new traffic signal to the area.
Henish Pulickal, a chairperson for the Pacific Beach Planning Group, said the development has, overall, been favored by the community.
"It’s a nice, attractive change to what was here, and it helps paint the picture of how this whole area of east PB could be redeveloped to be better used," he told NBC 7.
He said the site where the development is being built hadn't been utilized in years and was not at all beneficial to the community. The car dealership has long been gone.
“Between the housing units and the retail on the first floor – with, potentially, coffee shops and restaurants – I think it’s a nice place to hang out over here because there aren’t too many options on this side of the beach,” he added.
"Revitalizing this area is, definitely, very exciting," Berns added.
Construction on Jefferson Pacific Beach is expected to be completed in two-and-a-half years.