Five on the Sidelines

San Diego's petition for smart growth enclaves sparked five innovative pilot projects, but three years later, none have moved from concept to reality.

1. Proposed by the Encanto Neighborhoods Community Planning Group, Village Center at Euclid and Market proposed bringing 839 residential units to an area that already has parks, schools, and transit. The plan offered a new outdoor plaza, a 500-seat amphitheater, a light manufacturing district, office space, a community center, a grocery store, a bank branch, restaurants, a drug store, a coffee house, and even a skate park. The plan orients residential units to take advantage of the sloping topography. Nearby Chollas Creek would serve as the project's focal point and natural amenity.

2. The Boulevard Marketplace, proposed by the Normal Heights Community Planning Committee, suggested 366 units of row houses, three- to four-story apartment buildings, and a mixed-use, loft-over-retail building along El Cajon Boulevard, a main thoroughfare on the south side of the project. Twenty percent of the units were proposed as affordable housing.

3. North Park, situated along one of the most-traveled bus routes in the city, proposed 313 residential units, commercial retail, streetscape improvements, and an arts district featuring galleries and artists' space. At the time that the Greater North Park Community Planning Committee proposed the plan, the area was already the focus of redevelopment, including a new condominium project, a theater renovation, and a drug store.

4. The Paseo sought to place retail, student residences, entertainment, and civic uses within footsteps of the San Diego State University campus. A proposed movie theater would have served as a lecture hall during the day. The complex would have been marked by a 100-foot tower. With the university no longer involved, San Diego city planning director William Anderson says his department will solicit proposals from other interested parties.

5. Mi Pueblo along San Ysidro Boulevard would feature a public market, offices for Casa Familiar, commercial space, senior housing, and a 5,000-square-foot community center. Ground-floor businesses with residential units above would line the boulevard. Renderings depict patterned sidewalks and colorful, right-angled buildings.