Uptown Gateway

- Pernicanos - 

We can finally say we sold it!  We knew it would not be easy but we had no idea what we were walking into,  The Savory Group in connection with Urban Housing Partners uncovered a downzone that was quietly taking place in the community during the contract negotiations on the sale of the Pernicano's Hillcrest property.  The community plan for the area was being updated and the Uptown Community Planning group was making an effort to downzone from 109 units per acre to 44 units with a significant reduction in FAR. The City’s proposed Community Plan Update reflected in a net loss of 1,900 units at full build-out from what the Citys Community Plan had adopted in 1988.

This would result in a substantial devaluing of all properties in the Uptown Gateway and Hillcrest would continue to deteriorate at its vital core due to the lack of progressive development. Contract negotiations for the property halted and we proceeded with a density preservation coalition called "The Uptown Gateway Council", formed with neighboring stakeholders and a team of the best land entitlement experts in the City to contest the downzone. By strategically approaching City staff and the Uptown Community with information and renderings we were able to help them in understanding the importance of maintaining density in the gateway to Hillcrest.  On November 14, 2016, the City Council approved our Hillcrest Gateway plan to deny the downzone, maintain density and create a specific plan that will be implemented in the future subject to funding which will increase density. 

Forbes - San Diego Hillcrest Gateway



- About the Gateway - 

"The Uptown Gateway District is a community plan depicting a renewed and vibrant center for San Diego’s Hillcrest community. A 2015 update to the Uptown Community Plan proposed significant down zoning to all of Hillcrest, including its commercial core. The moratorium on future development discourages rejuvenation and encourages a mass migration of businesses to more dynamic parts of San Diego. The Uptown Gateway District plan introduces height to enhance a decaying public realm and promote revitalization and economic growth. Density allowances call for smaller, more affordable housing units with flexible parking standards to encourage the use of public transportation and compliance with a newly passed Climate Action Plan."  - Safie Rabines Architects, development team members of the Uptown Gateway Council

The San Diego City Council voted 7-2 to approve Uptown’s Community Plan Update (CPU), an important policy document that will guide growth and development for the next 20 years. Within this CPU a specific plan will be later written into the CPU to address the need for increased density in Uptown Gateway District, an approximate 11 acres in the urban core of Hillcrest, between Washington Street to the north and Pennsylvania Avenue to the south, Fourth Avenue to the west and Seventh Avenue to the east.

Read the full article here:

San Diego Uptown News

“Today’s approval of the Uptown Community Plan Update is an important and necessary step not only to comply with our General Plan and Climate Action Plan but to also set the right course for the future of our city going forward,” Councilmember Todd Gloria said in a statement released after the vote.

“With this update, we will be able to foster vibrant, walkable and transit-oriented communities in Uptown that reduces automobile dependency, protects the integrity of our historic resources, and embraces new urban growth,” he said.


- The Objective - 

What the Uptown Gateway is striving to do is to learn the lessons of history; of what has gone well and what has gone wrong in urban spaces and create a vision for the future of Hillcrest where you can live, work, play, and be connected to public transportation. - Pauly De Bartolo a development team member of the Uptown Gateway Council & founding principle of DBRDS. development members of the Uptown Gateway Council

"The idea behind taking this area and putting density on it, you activate people so people can live, work, shop, eat and recreate, all in the same place using the built environment to minimize congestion, and we achieve that by creating a project that is within a 15 minute radius we’re connected to downtown, Little Italy, Mission Valley, and North Park. It’s a quick ride by bus, bike, or Uber to get there --

it’s going to be a whole different community along the lines of the best urban districts that we see throughout the nation such as Portland Pearl District." -  Gary London, Senior Principal at London Moeder Advisors 


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