Palomar Commons opening this summer

By José A. López
Jan 01, 2013

Palomar Commons, a shopping center currently taking shape at the intersection of Palomar Airport Road and El Camino Real, is expected to open this summer, bringing Carlsbad’s first large home improvement store, a new gas station and a collection of restaurants that will not only expand the area’s dining choices, but also create jobs and add tax revenue to the city’s coffers.

Sudberry Properties is developing the 16-acre site at the southwest corner of the intersection, which used to be the home of the Olympic Resort Hotel and Spa, which closed in 2008. A 155,000 square-foot Lowe’s Home Improvement will serve as the center’s anchor. The site will also include a California Bank and Trust branch, a 16-pump Acacia Gas station and full car wash, and Chipotle’s Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and a Panera Bread. Deals are also being worked out with other tenants to fill three buildings.

The center will be able to accommodate up to a dozen tenants, said Mark Radelow, vice president of Sudberry Properties.

“I think this will be a great addition to the community, and we’re going to have a good combination of users,” Radelow said. “We’re going to have the right mix of food and retailers to add something to the community that isn’t there now.”

Ted Owen, President and CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce agrees.

It's a needed addition to the City of Carlsbad's retail mix" Owen said. "It makes it convenient for people to get home improvement products and adds dining options to a centrally located business and residential area of the city. It's also going to create jobs, increase sales tax revenue and it's going to meet the aesthetic requirements set forth by the City. We welcome Lowe's Home Improvement and all of the other tenants to Carlsbad."

Construction crews started working on the project last year, demolishing the remnants of the resort and preparing the site for construction. To fix a steep slope, 250,000 cubic yards of dirt were trucked into the site. The cost of construction is estimated at $15 million.

Radelow said construction was expected to start by the first of the year and wrap up in May ahead of an opening in July or August. Not counting all of the construction jobs created by the product, the center could bring as many as 200 jobs to the area when complete, said Radelow.

Kathy Dodson, the City of Carlsbad’s economic development manager, said the new center will be centrally located, and will be beneficial to the city.

“This is important for several reasons,” she said. “We haven’t had a major home improvement store in Carlsbad, and we lost all of those sales to the surrounding communities ... We’re so excited to have more restaurants.”

Palomar Airport Road will be widened and a new traffic signal will be installed. Turn lanes and some roadwork in the median will take place during the year, said Radelow, and a new entrance and sign will be built for the San Diego County Animal Services shelter next to the construction site. The work will mitigate any traffic created by the addition.

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