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Despite Slowdown in Home Sales, North County Bustling With Projects

The residential real estate market appears to be the barometer for how the economy is doing countywide.

In some regions it is down considerably and in others it is holding its own.

One thing for sure is that the development of the region continues to be strong in all the other business categories.

All those houses that have been built over the last two or three years create tons of business for consumer products, office space, transportation upgrades, retail space and hotels to name but a few.

While all the talk is about the value of a home, the support needed for new residents is booming.

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Palomar Pomerado Health and the Tri-City Medical Center are all building, or expanding their facilities.

All three of the facilities need to be earthquake safe and much bigger.

When the three have completed their programs nearly $2 billion will have been spent to accommodate the needed beds and technology upgrades to support the growing population of North County.

Education is on the minds of many residents and the area’s community colleges and California State University San Marcos are expanding.

At Cal State San Marcos, which didn’t even exist 12 years ago, has spent more than $200 million on growing its physical plant.

Their latest projects will include the first multi-story parking garage, and a new police and parking services building.

The two projects will cost $56 million.

This fall the Sprinter rail line will begin bringing many 12,000 students to class.

An illustration of positive cash flow and growth in the area saw the city of Solana Beach putting on a special election two weeks ago to determine whether or not to limit the “mansionization” of the city.

The measure passed and took effect on March 24.

The ordinance will affect 1,600 homes in a half dozen neighborhoods west of Interstate 5. Proponents wanted to preserve the character of the city.

The hard-fought initiative was won in favor of restricting the size of homes by just 67 votes.

In other North County news:

– Carlsbad-based Barratt American was a big winner in the National Association’s Sales and Marketing Council, picking up 11 awards. One property, Amore at Vellano in Chino Hills won Detached Community of the Year.

– Temecula-based Temecula Valley Bancorp Inc. announced that their bank jumped up into the top 25 Top Banks lists in U.S. Banker magazine coming in 13th.

– National financial giant Edward Jones with offices across North County stepped up into the Top 25 national and international companies on Business Week magazine’s first Customer Service Champs list coming in sixth.

– The San Diego Society for Human Resources Management has selected La Costa Glen, a continuing care community in Carlsbad, as one of the Great Places to Work in the region.

– The much-anticipated facelift to Interstate 5, the main artery through North County, has been given the top spot on the SANDAG regional transportation list for 2007. The $2.4 billion project will widen the freeway from La Jolla Village Drive to Vandegrift Boulevard in Oceanside, near the main gate to the Marine Base at Camp Pendleton. The main focus of the construction will be the addition of two lanes in each direction for carpools.

This will be a long construction process, causing more delays and detours but in the long run, planners cite the easing of the traffic congestion on the busiest north to south freeway in the county.

– United Income Properties has purchased the 119,000 square foot La Costa Meadows Self Storage facility in San Marcos for $11.6 million.

– DM Spectrum LLC has purchased a 57,338 square building in Rancho Bernardo for $11 million.

– The San Francisco-based Jay Paul Co. has purchased the Summit at Rancho Bernardo a three-building, 75-acre project above Interstate 15 for $105 million.

Jay Paul plans to combine the property with the Sony manufacturing plant to create a 105-acre master-planned research and office campus.


Ted Owen is president and CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.

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