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Mercado del Barrio Honored with Neighborhood Planning Award

Barrio Logan project selected for "innovative planning principles that create sustainable neighborhoods that have lasting value."

Aliso Viejo, CA, May 20, 2011 --( The California Chapter of the American Planning Association, San Diego Section, has selected Mercado del Barrio, Shea Properties’ highly anticipated project located in the Barrio Logan neighborhood of San Diego, for a first place Neighborhood Planning Award. Mercado del Barrio is situated at the base of the Coronado Bridge adjacent to historic Chicano Park and includes a Northgate Market, street level retail and 92 affordable apartment units.

“Mercado del Barrio was selected for this award, which recognizes a neighborhood plan that demonstrates innovative planning principles and measures that create sustainable neighborhoods with lasting value,” said Dan Wery, Director, San Diego Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association. “Because of its first place finish, the Mercado del Barrio project is now eligible for the APA award at the state level as well.”

“The Mercado del Barrio team is committed to creating a great shopping and gathering place for the community, and we are honored that the American Planning Association recognized that vision,” said Colm Macken, President of Shea Properties. “The residents of Barrio Logan have shown great enthusiasm for the project, and we appreciate the city’s support and encouragement as well. Hopefully this award will inspire others to look at development a little differently going forward.”

The award is the first for the mixed-use project, which began construction in March and is scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2012. Unanimously approved by the City Council in June 2010 after receiving overwhelming public support, Mercado del Barrio will be anchored by a 35,891 sq. ft. Northgate Gonzales Market. Many Barrio Logan residents are currently walking more than three miles to the nearest big-name grocery store. The project also features another 47,913 sq. ft. of retail that will include specialty shops and restaurants, as well as 92 affordable apartment units.

The plan had stalled for years in part over an ownership dispute. Two years ago, however, the city began working on a development plan with Shea Properties, a 42-year-old commercial real estate company headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California.

A partnership was created between Shea Properties, Chelsea Investment, Northgate Markets, San Diego’s RDA and Housing Commission, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and construction began after more than 20 years of planning, setbacks and disappointments.

Public amenities will include art elements, pedestrian walkways, landscaping, and plazas to highlight the culture of Barrio Logan and connections to Chicano Park. The site is bounded by César Chávez Parkway to the north, the Coronado Bridge overpass and Chicano Park to the south, National Avenue to the east, and Main Street to the West.

The affordable housing portion of the project will feature 92 rental units developed by Chelsea Investment Company. The apartments will be available to households earning 30%-60% of the area’s median income.

Mercado del Barrio is located along the San Diego Bay, close to the San Diego Convention Center, Centre City East Village, and the Ballpark Redevelopment Project. Adjacent to all forms of transportation and the San Diego Bay, its eastern San Diego location is immediately next to a burgeoning downtown area that is experiencing $3 billion in revitalization investment.

About Shea Properties (
Shea Properties, headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, is a diversified real estate company responsible for the acquisition, design, development, construction and management of business parks, shopping centers, apartment communities and mixed-use environments. Since beginning operations in 1969, annual revenues have grown steadily to more than $200 million, while the overall value of the portfolio has grown from $150 million to more than $2 billion. Shea Properties currently owns and operates approximately 6,300 apartment units and 6 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space in California, Colorado and Arizona. The development pipeline holds an additional 2,200 apartment units and 2.5 million square feet of commercial space. In concert with sister company, Shea Homes, the nation's largest private home builder, Shea Properties offers a range of capabilities matched by few other developers in the industry.

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Cornerstone Communications
John Christensen

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