New Owner Redesigns Stalled Escondido Project

KirE Cos. HEADS TO DESIGN REVIEW BOARD WITH REVAMPED CITY SQUARE

By Michelle Breier, Union-Tribune, visit the original article post here.

ESCONDIDO — Another long-delayed housing development is back on track in Escondido.

City Square, at Second Avenue and Centre City Parkway, was bought last fall by Poway-based KirE Cos., which is refining new designs for the townhomes.

“There’s a lot of positives about that site, it’s in the heart of downtown,” said KirE vice president Jason Shepard. “We love the location. It’s very close to the Sprinter” light-rail station.

Shepard noted that the project will coincide with the arrival of additional jobs in the city with next year’s opening of the new Palomar Medical Center West hospital.

KirE bought City Square from Bank of America, which had held the property after builder Barratt American went bankrupt in 2008. KirE declined to disclose the purchase price.

Of the 102 units approved on the project, Barratt built 18. The completed units are owned individually, but will be incorporated into the rest of project, said Josh Santa, KirE’s co-founder and president.

Santa said he and KirE representatives have met with the homeowners association.

He said the redesigned units will be a more traditional three story townhome layout with side-by-side parking. The completed homes have tandem in-line parking.

Escondido principal planner Bill Martin called the layout “a major plus.”

Martin said KirE is expected to take the final design to the city’s Design Review Board on June 9, followed by Planning Commission and City Council reviews.

“A lot of architectural elements will match up with what’s out there,” Martin said. “We’re pretty excited with what they have so far.”

The 84 City Square townhomes will include four floor plans, ranging from 1,105 square feet with two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms to 1,477 square feet with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a den. Summa Architecture is handling the redesign.

The townhomes will be offered for sale, but prices have not been set yet, Santa and Shepard said.

The color scheme and architectural style will be consistent with the original units, so KirE expects the new townhomes to fit in seamlessly.

The redesign also includes courtyards and more open space for residents. Santa and Shepard see City Square as a walkable community within easy reach of downtown restaurants and a movie multiplex.

On Monday, KirE started removing weeds and cleaning up trash on the 3.6-acre site, which Shepard called a “gateway to the city.”

Also, nearby, Lyon Communities has recently started construction on condo projects Venue and Paramount, which halted after a fire in 2007.

UNION-TRIBUNE
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/may/13/new-owner-redesigns-stalled-escondido-project/

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