Kilroy makes progress on mixed-use center

Kilroy Realty Corp. continues to develop its plan for a mixed-use center on El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights Road, directly across from Del Mar Highlands.

Kilroy is in the process of submitting a community plan amendment to the city; they hope to be in plan review process by 2010.

“The strength of the plan is in the ‘Main Street’ environment we’re trying to create,” said Robert Little, vice president of commercial development for Kilroy.

They hope to have tree-lined paseos, sidewalk cafes and an enlarged plaza to promote a “village feel” of allowing pedestrian use and gathering. Architectural firm Elkus Manfredi - the firm behind The Grove in Los Angeles, the Americana at Brand in Glendale and Downtown Disney in Anaheim - was tapped to design the complex.

Plans for the site include office and retail space, 600 residential units, a 150-room hotel, a boutique cinema, a 10-story corporate building on the lowest elevation of the site and a 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot full service market, such as Whole Foods or Gelson’s.

The plan would also include adding two new signal lights on Del Mar Heights Road to provide safe ingress and egress to the center.

Their preliminary plans have changed some since Kilroy last came before the Carmel Valley Planning Board in February. They have moved the hotel and cinema to the interior of the project to make retail spaces more visible and accessible.

Board member Anne Harvey asked Little to keep in mind that El Camino Real is essentially Carmel Valley’s main street. She asked that thought be given to creating inviting spaces and connectivity, not just warehouses and backs of office buildings facing the street.

Board member Manjeet Ranu agreed about helping to make pedestrian connections to the nearby shopping center, homes, recreation center and library.

“El Camino Real is not a pedestrian oriented street today but we shouldn’t turn our back to it,” Ranu said.