Cal West, a developer based in Carlsbad, plans to redevelop a former Sears store in the Chula Vista Center outdoor shopping mall into a housing complex with 244 townhomes.
IHP Capital Partners, based in Newport Beach, is Cal West’s financial partner for the project.
With the new name of Citrus Bay, the development at 565 Broadway will cover a 13.35-acre site on the east end of the shopping center bordered by H Street, I Street and Fig Avenue.
“Cal West’s history is that we love infill sites that are close to, live work, and play is a term that’s a bit over used but this project really exemplifies live, work, and play and walkability,” said Matt Thorne, partner and COO of Cal West.
Sears closed in early 2020 and Cal West will soon start razing the former department store and clearing the site.
“Hopefully, you’ll see some heavy equipment out there, probably within the next 30 days,” Thorne said.
Citrus Bay will have 116 two-story townhomes in what Cal West is calling The Towns at Citrus Bay and 128 three-story townhomes in The Courts at Citrus Bay.
The townhomes will range from about 900 square feet to about 2,000 square feet, Thorne said, with pricing yet to be set. They will go on sale in the spring of 2024 with a formal opening planned for the fall of 2024.
Throne said he expects Citrus Bay to appeal to a wide mix of buyers.
“You have a lot of existing homeowners in the area in Chula Vista that maybe want a new home, then you have entry-level buyers that are coming from apartments that really want a homeowner opportunity that come from the immediate area and maybe Mission Valley as well,” Thorne said.
The project will include a city park that Cal West will build at the corner of I Street and 5th Avenue.
The name of the townhome development “is reaching back to the heritage of citrus and orange groves back when Chula Vista was undeveloped and rural,” Thorne said. The name also is a nod to the development under way or planned along Chula Vista’s nearby, including Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center that will have 1,600 hotel rooms.
Calling the development “transformative,” Thorne said that in addition to bringing new housing to the center of downtown Chula Vista, Citrus Bay would help merchants in and around Chula Vista Center by bringing new foot traffic to the area.
“This one is really adding onto something that is already thriving,” Thorne said. “We have team members that grew up in Chula Vista and actually shopped at Sears.”
According to a history of the Chula Vista Center written by Steven Schoenherr, University of San Diego professor emeritus, the shopping center opened in November 1962 on the 40-acre site of the Vista Square war housing project.
Schoenherr wrote that planning for what was originally called the Vista Plaza Shopping Center began in 1959, and initially called for a three-story Marston department store.
The shopping center was renamed the Chula Vista Shopping Center and the first store to open was Sav-On in July 1962, to be followed by Kresge’s and JC Penney in 1963, according to Schoenherr.
Cal West in May broke ground on another Chula Vista development, Haddington, that will have 127 single-family homes in the master planned community of Cota Vera.
CEO and Principal: Robert Thorne
Business: Housing development
Contact: email@example.com 760-918-6768
Notable: Development partner and one of the homebuilders in the popular master-planned community of 3Roots in Sorrento Mesa.