Trailblazing: Breeze Hill, Vista (San Diego), CA
"Creating Community Through Redevelopment"
“A great thought begins by seeing something different, with a shift of the mind’s eye.” - Albert Einstein
In 2014, we toured an underperforming neighborhood retail center in Vista, a desirable suburban area of San Diego County. Two financial institutions owned the center and they were struggling with its operations and with their partnership. Today, the site is a vibrant, mixed-use development and home to Breeze Hill Apartments, a newly constructed, 88-unit Class-A community (www.breezehillvista.com).
When we purchased the property in 2014, it was comprised of three buildings including a CVS drug store, a Comerica Bank branch and an inline retail strip center that was more than 50% vacant. A year later, we had sold the Comerica and CVS parcels, returning our equity and leaving us with the remaining parcel with a zero cost basis. Prior to acquisition, we had identified an opportunity to redevelop the retail center into a medium-density multifamily community. We received entitlement approvals a couple of years later and completed construction in 2019.
Breeze Hill includes a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging 790 square feet. Units include full size washer/dryers, vinyl plank flooring, modern kitchens and baths, detached and attached garages, patio/balconies and walk-in closets. Community amenities include a resident clubhouse, fitness room, heated pool and spa, gas BBQ area, package locker, game area and electric vehicle charging stations. Breeze Hill is adjacent to a park, elementary school, retail center and weekly farmer’s market. Residents also enjoy several nearby restaurants and retail stores nearby.
Breeze Hill is an excellent example of creating community through infill redevelopment. The property provides much needed housing to the area – San Diego has an estimated shortfall of 59,000 apartments – while enhancing the community character, optimizing current infrastructure and promoting a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. Additionally, infill projects such as Breeze Hill provide environmental benefits by reducing development pressure on outlying areas, helping safeguard lands that serve important ecological functions while reducing drive times and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
We like to think of Breeze Hill as an improved puzzle piece, one that elevates the scene of a healthy, walkable lifestyle for the neighborhood and our residents.
Vista, California: Did you know?
“Hops Highway” Epicenter: Vista is home to nearly 20 craft breweries, the most per capita in the nation. In 2019, Vista won the “Gamechanger” award by the California Association for Local Economic Development for spurring economic growth for its support of local craft breweries. The City’s craft beer revival has breathed new life into the community in the form of tourism and economic development. Beer aficionados come from all over to enjoy a cold, craft brewski in one of San Diego’s friendliest cities.
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