Mission Valley

Owner wants to build 850 apartments at Fashion Valley Mall; JCPenney to close

The apartment building would replace JCPenney and its surrounding parcel

NBC Universal, Inc.

Want to live at the Fashion Valley Mall?

While many, many San Diegans love to pass a lazy afternoon shopping the high-end boutiques at the Fashion Valley mall, San Diego may be about to find out just how much they love the tony shopping center.

Simon, the corporate owners of the mall on Friars Road in Mission Valley, announced Monday that it has started the planning process with the goal of building 850 multifamily high-end apartment rentals on the property. Also on the drawing board for the mall, which has been undergoing a large-scale multi-year renovation, are the additions of 100,000 more square feet of retail space and restaurants, as well as "fresh and lush open green spaces."

"We're excited about this next phase of Fashion Valley as we continue to reinvest and add a walkable, livable lifestyle community that is intertwined with handpicked luxury brands that can only be found here," Simon's president of development, Mark Silvestri, said, in part, in the news release. "This redevelopment marks a new era of sophistication and convenient living in San Diego."

The obvious question San Diegans have is: Where? the mall's footprint is mostly built up, with the exception of a few small parking lots near Friars Road at the property's eastern end, so the obvious location would where JCPenney's is located. Silvestri confirmed to NBC 7 Tuesday that the units will be housed in a single five-story building with three levels of parking, located where the JCPenney store and its surrounding parcel is currently.

The closure of one of the mall's longstanding anchor tenants is, of course, news in itself.

The development news is surprising, in part, because just across Fashion Valley Road, at the mall's western terminus, the mega-developer Hines, which planned thousands of apartments at the Riverwalk Golf Club site, recently shelved plans for Phase 1 of the project. The pause is due to market conditions and interest rates, according to Hines. ?The e project was expected to be a 200-acre master-planned community with 4,300 multi-family units.

Silvestri told NBC 7 that Simon has just began the permitting process with the city of San Diego, which will no doubt involve a host of studies, including an examination of traffic in the area. On Wednesday, the day after this story was originally published, a spokeswoman for the city of San Diego told NBC 7 that the "city of San Diego’s Development Services Department has not yet received an application to construct residential buildings at Simon Fashion Valley."

The mixed-used residential approach to large retail locations is an emerging trend in the sector. Last July, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to rezone the Mission Valley West shopping center into a mixed-use area in order to be able to add housing units.

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously to rezone the Mission Valley West shopping plaza into a mixed-use area, paving the way for new housing units. NBC7's Priya Sridhar reports on July 21, 2023.
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