by Austin Speed, President, Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge
To pick up where we left off last week, there are over 50 major construction projects planned for North UC that will have a long term impact on our already intolerable traffic situation. Last week we looked at three of the top 10 projects: the Westfield UTC project, the Scripps Hospital campus expansion, and the Illumina Headquarters projects.
This week we’ll look at two residential high rises going up near Genesee Avenue and the expansion of UCSD’s East Campus bordering Genesee.
Number 4. Costa Verde High Rise Residential Project: Currently under construction, this Costa Verde high rise residential building group, known as Monte Verde Towers, will ultimately provide over 550 residential living units in 4 large tower buildings which will add to an already crowded skyscape of high rises in North UC. The first tower is already going up and is growing taller as this is being written.
Figure 1. Costa Verde Reaches for the Sky…Again
Located at the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue these four behemoths, adding up to about a million square feet of floor space, will inevitably contribute to traffic on our favorite, and only, neighborhood arterial north-south roadway, Genesee.
Figure 2. Monte Verde Towers – Almost A Million Square Feet of Residential Space
We truly hope the residents of these towers don’t feel too trapped as they watch the gridlock on Genesee. But, if they do feel like it’s just too challenging to leave their parking garage, they will be in good company with the occupants of our next big construction project.
Number 5. Westfield UTC Residential Tower: Westfield UTC recently received some press for the public announcement of their 300 unit residential tower project.
Figure 3. Westfield UTC Residential Towers
Westfield UTC’s residential apartment building is budgeted at $200M — about 1/3 of the cost of UTC’s current $600M Westfield UTC shopping center renovation. While the address is not technically right on the Genesee Avenue & Nobel Drive intersection, this facility will be close enough that residents can throw paper airplanes at it. Occupants who want to escape the Westfield UTC resort environment and venture out into the real world will be exposed to an immediate taste of the Genesee traffic experience. As long as they’re willing to wait out the 5 hours of high traffic congestion on Monday through Friday they will be all right. I recommend that only people who are truly patient consider living here.
Number 6: UCSD East Campus Expansion. By my count, looking at the UCSD planning diagram below, the campus is planning 20 or more construction projects in the foreseeable future. On the East Campus alone they plan to build 2 major parking structures as well as a number of other buildings. The green triangles in Figure 4 represent projects in the planning/design stage. The red circles are projects that were under construction or pending at the time this drawing was done (2016).
Figure 4. The UCSD Construction Project Map
It should be noted that UCSD doesn’t require approvals from the City of San Diego to engage in construction projects on their campus. These projects will be funded and initiated by the UC system regardless of any input from the City of San Diego. These new developments were not considered in the PEIR’s traffic study.
It should also be noted that the eastern boundary of the UCSD East Campus is Regents Road (with a smidge of Genesee Avenue thrown in for good measure). Because Regents Road has not been completed across Rose Canyon the southbound traffic departing the campus on Regents will have to transition to Genesee Avenue or I-5 to leave the UC area.
Have fun watching all of this fall into place.
Next week we’ll talk about Campus Point projects, the trolley system, more condos, and other office and research facilities going up in the North UC area. Until then..
President, Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge