Advertisement

One Paseo opens for business — kind of

One Paseo opens for business — kind of
SAN DIEGO, February 28, 2019 | John Kilroy, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty Corporation, stands next to a mural on the Shake Shack restaurant, done by artist Eric Junker, at the retail portion of the One Paseo project in Carmel Valley. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

One Paseo, San Diego’s most anticipated — or possibly, most dreaded — development, is officially, though just barely, open for business. The full scale and impact of the 23-acre, city within a city won’t be felt for months, if not years, to come.

Saturday, developer Kilroy Realty will remove construction fences from One Paseo’s retail component, which spans 96,000 square feet, and invite the public in to take a look.

Advertisement

However, the expansive Carmel Valley project at 12860 El Camino Real, just east of Interstate 5, will showcase just one retail tenant, the boutique bohemian fashion shop Van de Vort. Thirteen additional stores or restaurants will open on March 16. The project’s 608 luxury residential units won’t be ready until later this year. The office buildings are slated for completion sometime next year.

The retail portion spans 96,000 square feet and is meant to have a country-meets-coast vibe.
The retail portion spans 96,000 square feet and is meant to have a country-meets-coast vibe. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Still, adults are invited to walk the grounds, and kids can climb on top of a massive log structure, aptly called “The Log,” in the center of the property. Ambassadors will also be on site to answer questions and give out tote bags. Free parking is also readily available. The debut marks the first time that the general public can scrutinize in person the once controversial site, which is still very much under construction and may still be a sensitive topic for nearby residents afraid of One Paseo’s traffic implications.

Advertisement

Surely this partial preview is not the first impression originally engineered by the powerhouse real estate investment firm behind the project. But Kilroy Chairman John Kilroy, whose father founded the company in 1947, is no less proud of his “urban-esque” suburban development, which he said will likely cost closer to $1 billion than $500 million when all is said and done. The publicly traded company has in the past estimated a total project cost of $675 million ($470 million for retail and residential, $205 million for office).

“I'm an optimist, so I have to look at what we've created here, what it’s going to do and how it's really going to transform this area and bring it to a whole different level,” Kilroy said during a sit-down interview last week. “I'm very prideful of that. I think (One Paseo is) going to be a major success as measured by residents, and the business community and others in San Diego who will come visit.”

Retailers prepare for an industry preview party on Feb. 28.
Retailers prepare for an industry preview party on Feb. 28. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

After years of costly setbacks — the executive estimates that close to $60 million “went up in smoke” — Kilroy, whose firm purchased the land in 2008, is choosing to look at the bigger picture. That picture, as he sees it, is a live-work-play setting that promotes everything San Diego leaders have advocated for years: dense housing, environmentally conscious buildings and a way of life that’s less centered around the car.

Visitors this weekend will see some of that vision on display. Though they may not be able to literally taste anything, patrons can use their other senses to fill in some of the blanks as the retail center’s country-meets-coast decor and its comfortable outdoor nooks should leave them wanting more. Eventually, Kilroy even hopes to win over his biggest naysayers. Opponents of the project sought to kill it through a referendum effort in 2015, but eventually settled for something with a much smaller retail and office footprint.

Advertisement

“I think this is going to create something where people who were supporters of the project are going to say, ‘Hey, this is better than we thought,’” Kilroy said. “And people who were antagonistic toward the project — remember this is not the original project. I think we're going to find the vast majority of people who were against the project are going to feel pretty positive about it.”

One Paseo’s soft opening may also work in the developer’s favor.

“As much as they would love to open up, rolling it out slowly is good for them so they can make sure everything is the right experience for consumers,” said Miro Copic, a SDSU marketing lecturer who tracks the retail sector.

Residential buildings under construction at the One Paseo. The first batch of luxury apartments is scheduled to open in June.
Residential buildings under construction at the One Paseo. The first batch of luxury apartments is scheduled to open in June. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

And traffic on Del Mar Heights Road, which is the neighbors’ No. 1 concern, should be less of an issue at launch, given the limited shopping and dining options, Copic said.

Of course, Kilroy Realty had hoped that more of One Paseo’s flagship venues would greet shoppers during a grand opening; it was originally scheduled for March 1. Rain and delays with tenant building permits washed away those plans.

Instead, Van de Vort’s soft opening on March 9 will be trailed by a dozen or so openings the following weekend, including the second San Diego locations for trendy spinning fitness studio SoulCycle and artisan ice creamery Salt & Straw.

One Paseo Retail Openings

March 9

  • Van de Vort

March 16

Advertisement
  • Curbar

  • Drybar

  • Faherty

  • Joe and the Juice

  • Marrow Fine

  • Nathan West

  • Salt & Straw

  • SoulCycle

  • Susie’s Cakes

  • The Butchery

  • Urban Beach House

  • West of Camden

  • Whiskey and Leather

Future

  • Blackbook Bikini

  • Blue Bottle

  • BodyROK

  • Byrd’s Nest

  • Color Counter

  • Cava

  • Harland Brewery

  • International Smoke

  • Juice Crafters

  • Le Macaron

  • Mizukiyama Sushi

  • Motion Stretch

  • North Italia

  • Parakeet Café

  • Pigment

  • Sephora

  • Shake Shack

  • Shop Good

  • Specs Optometry

  • Sweetfin Poké

  • Tender Greens

  • Tocaya Organica

  • URBN

  • Vibe Flow Yoga

  • Ways & Means Oyster House

Connect with us on Nextdoor

Like us on Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement