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Mission Valley Gets Plan for Project Of ‘Biblical Proportions’

With many focused in the past year on the future of Qualcomm Stadium — and keeping its current primary tenant in place — it’s understandable why a lot of other major development projects in Mission Valley would get relatively little attention from the general public. And there are a lot of big things happening in Mission Valley these days.

One large and ambitious project has been basically dormant, but is now undergoing review by the city’s Mission Valley Planning Group. It’s a proposal by locally based televangelist Morris Cerullo, who is looking to build an 18-acre religious training facility called the Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center. It is slated for a property at 875 Hotel Circle South, which currently houses Mission Valley Resort near Interstate 8.

CoStar Group data indicates that Cerullo’s ministry organization purchased the buildings at 875 and 901 Hotel Circle S. out of a foreclosure proceeding involving the prior owner in 2011, for just over $18 million. According to filings with the city, Cerullo’s group filed a development application in August 2013.

A recent draft environmental impact report said the Legacy International Center would include commercial, lodging and religious elements, including a 105,104-square-foot pavilion with a restaurant, gift shops, training center, theater and TV studio. There is also a two-level, 17,012-square-foot welcoming center rotunda, a 29,940-square-foot interfaith pavilion, 5,992 square feet of underground catacombs, an 8,200-square-foot outdoor retail bazaar and a five-story “tri-wing” tower containing 127 timeshare suites.

A news release posted on the website of Cerullo’s Serra Mesa-based organization, Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, said the facility would be designed to train ministers from around the world, using “the latest in virtual image technology.” He plans an Israel Pavilion, featuring life-size replicas of historic sites in Israel, as well as a prayer pavilion and healing rooms in a campus setting.

The latest version of the project is scheduled to be presented to the Mission Valley Planning Group’s Design Advisory Board on Jan 4, and the full planning group on Jan. 6. Minutes from past meetings, held in early 2015, indicate that the planning group has raised concerns about issues including whether the project’s proposed Romanesque architecture, including elaborate domes and arches, will fit in with its Mission Valley surroundings.

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Port District Seeks Seaport Village Plans: The Unified Port of San Diego is stepping up efforts to make over the iconic but aging Seaport Village in downtown San Diego, well before the lease held by its current operators expires in September 2018. At a recent meeting, port commissioners unanimously approved a measure calling on staff to issue a “request for vision,” seeking developer proposals to rejuvenate what is known as the Central Embarcadero area of the waterfront, including Seaport Village and adjacent sites.

The port district has been looking to maximize revenue at key commercial locations that it oversees, and earlier this year it rejected a redevelopment plan put forward by Seaport Village’s current leaseholder, Carlsbad-based Terramar Retail Centers. Terramar took over the lease in 1978 and opened Seaport Village in 1980, on the former site of a ferry boat landing.

According to a port staff report, officials would like to see the current Seaport Village replaced by a mix of elements, which could include a waterfront arts and entertainment district, a signature architectural element, new hotel or retail amenities, or a multipurpose public space. Other possibilities include “water oriented facilities” geared to recreation, commercial fishing, docking-and-dining by boaters, or “honor the water” programs focused on natural resources protection.

Better parking and transportation management is also a priority, as current parking capacity has proven to be insufficient in the area around Seaport Village, officials said. Depending on projects ultimately selected by commissioners, the port district said redevelopment could be completed by mid-to-late 2021.

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More Housing at Makers Quarter: Civic San Diego, the city’s downtown project oversight agency, recently approved the development permit for StreetLights Makers Quarter, a new 295-unit apartment development that is also the second residential project approved for the budding mixed-use community in East Village.

A statement from Makers Quarter’s master developer, L2HP of San Diego, said Dallas-based StreetLights Residential plans to build a complex that also includes a pocket park on 15th Street, 477 parking spaces and more than 20,000 square feet of retail. Development costs for the project were not available.

City officials previously approved an apartment project called Broadstone Makers Quarter, being developed by Alliance Residential Co. of Phoenix. Makers Quarter, which also has an office building set to break ground in the spring of 2016, is a multiblock community being developed by a team that includes Lankford & Associates, Hensel Phelps and HP Investors.

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Retail Arrivals: Moniker Group, a San Diego-based design and real estate company, has acquired the lease on a historic former baking company facility on the north end of Liberty Station in Point Loma, with plans to set up a new retail and dining space. Operators said the venue, called Moniker General and set for a February 2016 opening, will include a retail store, coffee bar and beer tasting taproom at 2860 Sims Road.

The retail will consist of a “curated selection” of goods from local businesses, and the taproom will be run in partnership with 32 North Brewing Co. of Miramar.

In Del Mar, locally based SpaBlue has opened Physician MedSpa at the Flower Hill Promenade retail center on Via De La Valle. The 350-square-foot day-spa, operated by doctors Maryam Hekmat and Robert Pollack, offers skin, weight-management and related treatments.

Send commercial real estate and development news of general local interest to Lou Hirsh via email at lhirsh@sdbj.com.

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