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Hillcrest 111 building approved by Uptown Planners

The proposed project at Seventh and Robinson gets the thumbs up from Uptown Planners.
Photo credit:
San Diego Reader

Uptown Planners were happy with the latest proposal from developers of the Hillcrest 111 project on Tuesday. The structure wil be built at Seventh and Robinson.

The development company Greystar made some amendments to their plans in an effort to appease concerns from the community stemming from their original blueprint.

"We heard you," said Jim Ivory of Greystar, according to The San Diego Reader. "We really do want to be part of the neighborhood."

There were four changes to the proposal that the community planners wanted fixed.

They asked that the 92-foot tall mixed use building include solar panels, additional parking, a larger space from sidewalk to entryway, and tapered upper floors.

The step back design, where floors get smaller as they rise, would reduce the feeling of overwhelming the neighborhood. 

Two months ago, Uptown planners voted 9-5 to appeal the project if their requests for alterations weren’t made.

The planning group held sway over the project despite its expectation for city approval because the threat to appeal and the consequent lawsuits that would follow would delay ground breaking.

"We can give you a 10-foot step-back along Robinson......we commit to solar. We're going to heat our water with solar."

According to the San Diego Reader, Ivory confirmed nine of the building’s 111 units will be set aside for low-income tenants, therefore freeing the developers from parking requirements.

There are 190 parking spaces which already exceed requirements, and they couldn’t find places to add more.

Also, they have added a single step back at the third floor.

Uptown planners voted 11-3 to approve the project and gave accolades to the developers who made the changes even though they didn’t have to do so.

"This is the kind of new development we need," said Ben Nichols, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Improvement District. "It will help us with our customer base and it fits the new community plan."

But some neighbors are still not on board with the project, despite the changes. 

"I find it hard to believe the city will allow a 92-foot building on a two-lane road," said Ann Garwood. "It is right across from a one-story house that's been there for a 100 years — you're going up 70 feet higher than what's already on that corner."