By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
A considerable amount of earth is being moved around in the 4500 block of Mission Gorge Place in Grantville.
There’s a purpose for that — a purpose that will help with the need for more housing.
Fairfield Residential Company is building Gravity Apartments — a five-story, 325-unit apartment complex, 28 units of which will be live/work places. That’s because of changes liberalizing the zoning rules regarding what can be built and where. A mixed-use configuration is being encouraged in all new developments, which is why the live/work spaces are being built.
The project was unveiled at the last Navajo Community Planning (NCPI) group meeting, and there were questions asked at the information-only presentation.
As pretty much always happens at NCPI meetings, the first concern expressed had to do with the possibility of flooding, when Alvarado Creek once again overflows its channel.
Dan Smith raised that possibility again.
Ed McCoy, vice president of development for Fairfield, said that will not be a problem this time around.
“The site is designed to be elevated above the flood plain, and it incorporates storm water retention facilities to ensure that our site does not contribute further to the flooding issues. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) approved the map revisions to further ensure that our site does not exacerbate the flooding issues in the area.”
Marilyn Reed wondered about whether the project would affect views in the area, and McCoy says it should not.
One concern was an obvious one: Where is Fairfield planning to place the 507 — yes, 507 — parking places that will be available there? Definitely not underground, as some had thought.
“The parking garage will be located in the center of the property, in an above-ground, five-story parking structure. The garage will not be visible from the street, since it will be wrapped on three sides with apartment homes.”
As usually happens at NCPI every time a new development is talked about, board members wondered where the $9.2 million in mandated development impact fees Fairfield will have to pay will eventually wind up.
McCoy says that’s not up to Fairfield — that’s up to the City of San Diego.
That reply doesn’t make the board any happier. NCPI has battled for years to get the impact fees generated in Grantville to be spent in Grantville. There has been little if any luck with that fight.
Assuming things continue at this pace, the project will come back before NCPI for formal approval in the near future.
Again assuming all that, McCoy says the first units will be available for occupancy in January 2021, with full occupancy by early 2022.
That’s if everything goes according to plan.
— Doug Curlee is Editor at Large. Reach him at email@example.com.