Upon learning that the developer of One Paseo had made an unsolicited offer to the owner of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center to build a $5 million parking garage for
If… the Town Center would relinquish its existing entitlement to build an additional 150,000 square feet of community retail stores.
I thought: “Who in his right mind would think Del Mar Highlands Town Center would accept such a preposterous offer?” The value created by building out the 150,000 square feet is at least 10 times greater than the cost of the parking garage. What was Kilroy up to?
Perhaps it was just a continuation of Kilroy’s long-standing disinformation campaign to divert attention from the negative impacts the proposed development would inflict on the community.
Perhaps there was hope that One Paseo’s chances for a 3-times increase in entitlement would be greatly enhanced by masking the unmitigated traffic impacts of its own proposed development by removing 150,000 square feet of community retail entitlement from the approved Community Plan.
Maybe the community’s frustration with the Town Center parking, which is greater than required by City code, would make the community welcome the proposed One Paseo project — and be blinded to how One Paseo will function with a parking ratio less than half that of the Town Center, but with a building density 7 times greater.
Or could it be that One Paseo paid a whopping $88 million for the site near the peak of the real estate market and has reported investing an additional $44 million since then, including a lobbying and PR campaign furthering their case for additional entitlement. Getting a 3-times greater entitlement would lower average land costs by two-thirds, and increase profit potential by well over $100 million.
I had all these visions of developer greed at the expense of the community, but fortunately I was set straight by the developer’s quote in last week’s Carmel Valley News/Del Mar Times/Solana Beach Sun: “Kilroy would get nothing out of the garage except provide a huge community benefit by improving the Highlands’ parking situation…[and, by getting the Town Center to reduce its legal entitlement]… would save Carmel Valley from having even more cars on its roads.”
What a magnanimous gesture!
How could I have missed that? But then, maybe I was thinking how much easier it would have been if Kilroy had not tried to make an entitlement grab that would cause unmitigated significant impacts on the community’s traffic, scale and community character.