Plan for Carmel Valley medical office space switches to retail

By Karen Billing

More retail is planned for Pacific Highlands Ranch as reworked plans for the Corallina development on Carmel Valley Road were discussed at the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting on May 22.

A year ago, the plan was for 109 luxury condos and 21 affordable housing units above 30,000 square feet of medical office space next to the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. Developer John Finley, of Equity Properties Group, said they now plan to convert those medical offices to retail space.

“We were concerned about the depth of the market and we weren’t sure the market could bear another 30,000 of retail,” Finley explained. “Based on the demand Coast Income Properties is getting for retail (with the Village at PHR) and the interest we are already starting to get, we feel there’s enough demand to do retail on our site as well.”

The plan will be reviewed in more detail at the planning board’s regional issues subcommittee meeting on June 4 at 4:30 p.m. at the Carmel Valley Library.

Finley said the design would have the same look and feel that was originally proposed, with vertical mixed-use facing the access street, Village Way. The plans aim to give the curving street a feeling of warmth by having the flats above the retail spaces utilize design features, such as overhangs, balconies and French windows.

In another change to the plan, only 40-45 flats will be above the retail, instead of all of them on the second story — the rest will be behind those buildings in townhome-style units.

“It won’t be as dense on the street but will have the same stacking,” Finley said.

Finley said they tried to get away from underground parking but they will need it for the retail uses — there will likely be one-to-two levels of underground parking.