Development “a model for suburban growth” in San Diego

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Crews will break ground in February on a 70-acre housing and retail project near Rancho Peñasquitos that San Diego officials have called a new model for suburban development in the city.

Merge 56 will be a densely built, walk-able community with an urban vibe.

The project, located along the south side of state Route 56, is slated to include 242 residential units, six-story office buildings, retail shops, a hotel and a movie theater.

Merge 56 had been delayed nearly two years by an environmental lawsuit filed by a labor union that wanted more union-friendly hiring policies for the construction workers who would build the new community. A legal settlement was reached to allow the project to proceed.

Located between Interstates 5 and 15, it will be built on mostly vacant land adjacent to the biologically protected Del Mar Mesa Preserve and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge. The developer will complete the extension of Camino Del Sur to Park Village Road and an extension of Carmel Mountain Road.

It is a dense mixed-use project that has widespread community support, passed the council unanimously and provides much needed middle-class housing units.

Merge 56 takes advantage of new rules implemented to lower costs and speed up the construction of affordable housing and it has been described as a new urban model for suburban development.

Merge 56 was unanimously endorsed by the Rancho Peñasquitos Community Planning Group and the San Diego Planning Commission.

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