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Ground has been for the first mixed-use development in Chula Vista’s Urban Core Specific Plan, seven years after the plan’s adoption and at a time when city officials are preparing to update it.

Situated in downtown Chula Vista at 240 Landis Ave., off of Third Avenue, the development called the Lofts on Landis is a 33-unit affordable housing community with office and retail space on the ground floor. Construction began March 20.

“There was already some commercial projects approved that passed the entitlement process, but this was the first to break ground,” said Eric Crockett, assistant director of development services for Chula Vista. “The Urban Core Specific Plan was intended for mixed-use development.”

The Chula Vista City Council approved the plan in 2007. Crockett said it was brought forth by former Mayor Steve Padilla and council members at the time because they believed a plan was needed to drum up redevelopment in the city’s downtown corridor and west side, and to increase density.

“Because of the recession, nothing was really done in terms of actually constructing new development,” Crockett said. “Entitlements have happened on projects like an urban-use development on H Street and Third Avenue, and a mixed-use commercial and residential development.”

Now Chula Vista officials are preparing to update the Urban Core Specific Plan.

Crockett said it needs to be revised to give more businesses incentives to invest in the western part of the city and also because of new environmental rules and regulations.

Public input meetings will begin this month in hopes of presenting a plan to the council later this year, Crockett added.

The Lofts on Landis is a partnership between Wakeland Housing and Development Corp., the Family Health Centers of San Diego and the city of Chula Vista.

The city approved $2 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Home Investment Partnership and Neighborhood Stabilization Program for the project.

The Lofts on Landis is on a site that has been vacant for nearly 10 years. The city is hoping the multifamily development will help revitalize the area by creating a new community. The project will also offer parking and office space for the nearby Chula Vista Family Health Center.

The 33-unit development will consist of six one-bedroom, 15 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $506 to $1,209 per month. The homes will be targeted at working families earning between 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income.

The Lofts on Landis will feature a number of energy-saving and sustainable features such as solar panels, drought-tolerant landscaping, high-efficiency lighting and Energy Star appliances. The project is being built to meet LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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