The North County Transit District wants to turn 10.2 acres it owns around the Oceanside Transit Center into a mixed-use development that would include apartments, office space, and retail shops.
“We’ve been studying this site for quite some time,” said Tracey Foster, chief development officer of the transit district.
The district decided to make a move on the property now because market conditions are ripe with downtown Oceanside undergoing a rebirth, Foster said.
With that in mind, the district has issued a request for proposals from developers to suggest how the property could best be redeveloped.
“We want to look for development that’s going to increase ridership, that’s going to be beneficial to the city of Oceanside,” Foster said. “We’re working closely with the city of Oceanside in hopes of having a successful development.”
The property, as is, includes transit district administrative offices, a parking lot with 556 spaces, a bus island for the transit district’s BREEZE operations, ticketing offices for Amtrak and Greyhound and a Burger King restaurant.
Any redevelopment would have to continue to provide parking for commuters, ticketing space, and new transit district administrative offices, Foster said, but it would be up to the developer to decide where they’d go on the site.
Timing on the project would be determined by developer response to the request for proposals, with an April 15 deadline to submit proposals and a goal of signing a deal in September, according to a schedule set out by the district.
“This is one of the largest, most unique development opportunities on the West Coast given its location just two blocks from the beach, proximity to a vibrant downtown Oceanside and the connection offered by the district’s transit center,” said Brian Hutcherson, of CBRE’s Public Institutions and Educational Solutions division.
Hutcherson and Mike McShea, also of CBRE, are development advisors and consultants on the project.
“The district seeks to unlock the development potential of the site by creating a synergistic, transit-oriented, mixed-use development which promotes an active downtown, enhances the ridership experience and creates a unique quality of life that affords residents a real opportunity to live in a transformational residential environment,” Hutcherson said.
City officials see the redevelopment of the transit center as complementary to other downtown projects.
“We are looking forward to seeing this project add even more quality development to downtown Oceanside, an area that has already seen tremendous growth over the last few years,” said Oceanside Economic Development Manager Michelle Geller.
“The new high-density residential projects already open and active, such as Pierside (apartments) and SALT (apartments), have impressive amenities and ocean views, and their success has shown that there’s a demand for more high-density housing downtown,” Geller added. “The beachfront resorts under construction will also generate increased demand for visitor-serving public transit and increased parking options. We’d like this project to also bring more high-quality office space to downtown Oceanside, given that the project will be easily accessible via public transit from San Diego, and even Los Angeles.”