Carmel Valley’s coming attractions

The 56 Bike Path through Carmel Valley will be extended.
(Karen Billing)

In June, construction is anticipated to begin on the extension of the 56 bike path, improving connectivity for cyclists commuting between Interstate 5 and Interstate 15 as well as stretching out a popular fitness corridor for walkers, runners and stroller striders.

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A look ahead at what’s to come in the Carmel Valley community this year

56 bike path
In June, construction is anticipated to begin on the extension of the 56 bike path, improving connectivity for cyclists commuting between Interstate 5 and Interstate 15 as well as stretching out a popular fitness corridor for walkers, runners and stroller striders.

The 56 bike path is a 10.5-mile multi-use pathway that runs along SR-56 between I-5 and I-15, with separate dirt and paved pathways. The scenic route through Carmel Valley is known as the Marvin Gerst Trail.

Currently the pavement skids to a halt at a dirt trail approximately 200 feet away from I-5. The proposed Caltrans project would extend the bike path and go underneath I-5 where it will connect to the Old Sorrento Valley Road and the Coastal Rail Trail and I-5 North Coastal Trail.

This final connecting segment will improve the safety for those heading west toward the coast—commuters will no longer have to cross the busy streets of El Camino Real and Carmel Valley Road. By linking with Old Sorrento Valley Road, trail users can also gain access to the Torrey Pines Preserve.

The future site of the Solterra Vista Park.
(Karen Billing)

Solterra Vista Park
Pickleball anyone?

Just next-door to the newly opened Pacific Sky School, the newest community park in Pacific Highlands Ranch is scheduled to open to the public in late 2023. The park will include two lit pickleball courts, playgrounds, a pedestrian loop, two lit tennis courts and a full-size basketball court around a 1.8-acre multi-purpose field. One playground will take advantage of the land’s natural slope with climbing loops, rocks and a slide.

The new Steak 48 will be on the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real.
(Karen Billing)

Steak 48 (and more Del Mar Highlands Town Center additions)
Under construction since last year, destination restaurant Steak 48 is anticipated to open in spring 2023 in Del Mar Highlands Town Center. The steakhouse brand with locations in Houston and Chicago will have multiple dining areas with a view of an open kitchen surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The 12,500-square-foot-space also will have an in-house butcher shop where the master butcher will cut all steaks in-house daily, eight private dining suites and a 3,000 bottle wine vault.

The fresh and fast-casual Sweetgreen, serving up healthy salads and grain bowls made from scratch, will open across from the Vuori store in 2023.

Also coming soon on the food and drink side are Omomo Tea Shoppe, slated to open near Chase Bank and Pressed, which offers over 40 varieties of cold-pressed juice, plant-based milks, and smoothies.

In fitness and health offerings, Revel Fit Club, a boutique gym that offers strength-based HIIT workout routines is now open on the upper level and Rumble, a full-body boxing-inspired group fitness classes, will open in 2023. A wellness boutique called Restore will open nearby with services like cryotherapy, infrared saunas, red light therapy and IV drip therapy.

In 2022, the center unveiled a refreshed Mcdonald’s and welcomed new tenants like Xin Chao, a Vietnamese eatery, and Meats and Eats, a Kosher Haus company that offers unique cuts of meat. Other services coming in 2023 at Del Mar Highlands include Bespoke Dentistry, Mission Fed Credit Union, Robere’s Jewelry and Snooze Mattress (not to be confused with the popular breakfast spot Snooze).

The Pacific Highlands Ranch Library under construction.
(Karen Billing)

In the works: a library for Pacific Highlands Ranch
In 2022, the city celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Pacific Highlands Ranch Library. The $27.6 million, 18,000 square-foot library will be built on a three-acre site in the heart of PHR, at the back of the Village shopping center. The library will feature reading nooks for all ages, a children’s area for storytime and crafts, free access to computers and internet, an outdoor reading patio, study rooms, a maker’s space, a community room and an outdoor civic space linking to the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch’s public promenade.

The library is expected to open in fall 2024.

A rendering of the new bridge and widened El Camino Real.
(Screenshot by Karen Billing of rendering)

Now 2024: the El Camino Real widening
Anticipated to begin in January 2023 the widening of El Camino Real has been delayed to July 2024.

According to Tyler Becker, a public information officer with the city of San Diego, the project is currently in the California Environmental Quality Act review and city staff are still working on amending the site development permit.

With the upgrade, El Camino Real will be widened from two to four lanes from San Dieguito Road to Via De La Valle. The narrow and aging El Camino Real bridge will be replaced with a new crossing with both a bike lane and a protected sidewalk. Once work begins, the three-year construction is anticipated to finish in fall 2027.


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