It's Hard Not To Notice All the Development in 'Hidden' Escondido
While the English translation of this city’s Spanish name means “hidden,” Escondido is preparing to reveal itself in a big way. Surrounded by citrus and avocado groves, one of the oldest cities in San Diego County offers two lakes, a sports center, wineries, several parks, shopping centers, and homes suitable for varying incomes. Escondido has embarked on its journey of advancement and development.
Building Up Downtown Escondido
A great example is the selling of the 14-acre property of Palomar Health hospital in downtown Escondido to development company Integral Communities, the 12th largest homebuilder in the nation. As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Integral Communities was responsible for the Palomar Station in San Marcos as well as Oceanside’s master-planned community Mission Lane.
Integral Communities plans to build 1,000 units on the property. Mayor Sam Abed said, “It’s going to be the largest urban living development in Escondido, and I think it’s going to be great for the city. We need qualities and amenities that will attract people with good, median incomes to come and live and spend time on Grand Avenue and in downtown Escondido.” Mayor Abed also said that the plan is to offer a quality apartment or condo project in conjunction with commercial elements for the downtown eastern entrance.
Integral Communities is also building on downtown Escondido’s west side a large condo community that will connect to the transportation center across the street. Titled the Escondido Gateway project, it will be built on the lot of the old police headquarters and have 126 units of varying sizes.
“We are happy that Integral, which has a very solid and successful track record of building quality developments, is the choice for Palomar. We have an excellent relationship with Integral and I think that will make it easier to go through the entitlement process,” Abed added.
New Homes and a New Resort
While Escondido has focused on giving rise to its downtown area, there have been other developments in the city as well. For instance, plans have been submitted for city approval to build 203 homes and a 225-room resort east of Escondido’s Daley Ranch.
Development consultant of J. Whalen Associates Jim Whalen said it would be “a destination resort focusing on the open space and recreational opportunities.” Located near a mountain ridge, the project would require the acquirement of both Lake Wohlford and Daley Ranch, nearly 1,8000 acres combined as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Though it’ll take two to three years before final approval can be given, progress on the project is still in the works. New homes are sorely needed in San Diego County overall, and this project will include multi-family homes that are affordable, as well as single-family homes on larger lots.
Also, there’s the Escondido Public Library Strategic Planning Community Advisory Committee (SPCAC) whose participants “will identify current community needs, create goals for the future and strategize appropriate steps needed to achieve these goals” in addition to planning the next steps for the library.
Other Developments for Escondido
There are many other additional projects either underway or expected to begin development soon.
- Right in the heart of Escondido, there will be a desalination recycled water plant. Expected to begin construction by the summer, it will provide water to farmers at a reduced price.
- Construction for a replacement dam at Lake Wohlford is expected to being within a year, once funding is complete.
- Oak Creek, a 65-upscale home development to be built on the southwest side near Felicita County Park, is on a delay until new sewer lines are laid.
- South of the California Center for the Performing Arts a six-story, 106-unit condo building is planned.
- The 109 acres of the former Escondido Country Club on the northwest side was recently approved for 380 homes.
- Plans for Safari Highlands Ranch, which call for a 550-luxury home development on the east side in San Pasqual Valley, is the largest housing project over the last few decades.
“Here at city hall, we’re very excited about all the projects going on. We try to do everything we can to unleash the potential for exciting things in our community,” City Manager Jeff Epp told SDUT.