- Wed, 01/18/2012 - 11:35
- 0 Comments
The City of La Mesa has a history of building smart growth projects. The City’s planning efforts for infill Transit Oriented Development (TOD) have been on-going since the late 1980's when the trolley first came to La Mesa. There have been housing projects and commercial projects near or at a transit station since then.
The Grossmont Transit Center - Alterra and Pravada project is the latest TOD along a major San Diego mass transit corridor. With the completion of the Mission Valley East Line in 2005, the station became the line’s terminus and a key transfer point of the trolley network. In anticipation of increased use of the Grossmont Transit Center, the City of La Mesa and the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) joined forces in 1999 to pursue a transit-oriented development of the Grossmont Station.
Pravada opened in 2008 and Alterra opened 2009. The 8-acre project site accommodates a total of 527 one and two-bedroom apartment homes. Eighty (80) of these homes are designated as affordable housing units that are interspersed throughout the development. The housing is complemented by 2,700 square feet of commercial retail space that is oriented toward the trolley platform thus balancing a mix of uses.
Public funding for this smart growth transit oriented development came from the La Mesa Redevelopment Agency, MTS, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and federal economic stimulus dollars. The public improvements utilize existing infrastructure and emphasize walkability. The project design fosters public interaction and active lifestyles that enhance personal mobility for persons of all ages and abilities. As part of the project an elevator was built and opened in 2011 in order to allow travelers to access the shopping, medical services, fitness center and the urban transit center which are separated by a 50 foot grade change. This development reduces the need for residents to travel long distances and facilitates the use of transit and other non-automotive travel. The public improvements perfectly interact with the private development making this project a very successful public-private partnership.
Seeking to be energy neutral, this sustainable project is Gold LEED Certified with many hi-tech low-impact earth-friendly features that minimize its carbon footprint. The project, in the effort to be positive in its overall construction and operation, has employed various ways to be eco-friendly and Living Green®. Rooftop Solar Panels were installed in cooperation with SDG&E and contribute clean electricity for the local power grid. The project has many other energy saving attributes, as well as measures to address air quality, water conservation, recycling and alternative modes of transportation.