City Pursuing a Theater in Riverview Development

CIty staff and council discussed a new proposal for developing housing, shopping, a theater and even a college near Town Center.

Just north of Trolley Square lies two plots of land just waiting to be developed- and the City of Santee is looking to fill the void with all sorts of stuff, including housing, shopping, a and even a college (see conceptual maps in the media box).

One of the main discussions at the concerned concepts and ideas circulating around how to develop the Riverview site; the campus is the only occupant now.

A plan for the Riverview area was put forward in 2006, and applications for building residential housing were submitted to the city in 2007 and 2008, but the applications were withdrawn due to the economic slump in 2008, according to Till.

The issue of developing on the site wasn't brought up again until last week's , where a new proposal was shown.

City Manager Keith Till laid out a summary of ideas being proposed, and asked the council to consider if these development concepts are consistent with the Riverview Plan envisioned in 2006.

That plan included "a mixed-use area that will include both high density residential as well as a regional entertainment complex."

The plan also includes a "strong pedestrian connection established between Trolley Square, all three portions of the mixed use development and the .”

The new proposal includes 190 apartments on the 6.7 acre plot, which could be up to a five story building and 28 units-per-acre density. This area would be mixed-use with theater, office and residential components, which rings true with the original concept of a "residential area envisioned as a high-density, urban environment."

The city is seriously considering allowing a private college to develop on the 12 acre parcel, including classrooms, possible student housing, an athletic complex.

The city won't confirm that the private college in discussion is San Diego Christian College, which earlier this year . Mayor Randy Voepel was against this idea at that time, and said the nonprofit would not be a good fit because it would not generate necessary  for the city. But, he was absent at the meeting due to vacation.

Till did confirm that the city is currently "pursuing a theater" as part of the development.

Till indicated that the presentation was meant to update the council and gain their approval to move forward with the concepts in discussion.

"We can't act on anything specific, because we don't have anything specific," said Till. 

Amongst those unspecific ideas, outfitting the new development with is being discussed.

Councilmember made it clear that "developers must seamlessly collaborate to make a unique, uniform project." He also added that he's not interested in dormitory type living to be developed.

Councilmember and real estate agent said he doesn't like the idea of more than 300 residential units and that he wants to see shops on the bottom floor and mixed use throughout.

"The last thing I want is something that looks like project housing," he said.

The council decided the proposal and concepts should move forward, with updates as the proposed development changes.

Kathy July 30, 2011 at 06:02 AM
I love the idea but Santee could not handle the traffic properly, especially if the main route would be Mission Gorge Rd. I also don't think the City could afford the Liability Insurance, either.
DDAMM July 31, 2011 at 01:12 AM
The people in this city are a riot some times, we want things for kids to do but instead were tearing down a place that these kids gather to build a new building for the same old store(henerys) and thats a priority over these "kids that have nothing to do," and we cant have a ski park bc once again the people hear need absolute peace and quite bc they live in a city, the problem is tho that these kids wind up being our future. also do we really need to move these big box overly wastefull dont really give a hoot about the enviorment stores into a green complex? It really doesnt make sense to me.
Alan Stuart July 31, 2011 at 05:59 AM
it they are a going to come to Santee either way might as well make them do it as "green" as possible don't you think?
Motivated Santee Citizen August 02, 2011 at 02:13 AM
Many big name stores and companies are already covering their roofs with solar panels as a "green" start. Building an entirely new set of buildings for the Henry's Market and others in that complex is called eradicating urban blight. Santee looks so much better than it used to because of this eradication and redevelopment program. There is still much too much urban blight left in Santee to yet be called The Jewel or La Jolla of east County though. I did not have anything to do after 10 p.m. when I was a teenager and I never turned to drugs or alcohol. In fact I turned out just fine and am actually quite civic minded and want to help my community become a better place to live. So, Chula Vista can afford the liability insurance for a water park, but Santee can't? I thought the water park in Chula Vista was privataley owned anyway. It does not matter though, because they would not be able to afford the water prices here in Santee anyway. LOL
suzy March 26, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Theater would be great! A hospital would be great! Some type of family entertainment would be great. back in the day we had the skating rink and the movie theater, now if u have kids they have to go to el cajon or grossmont in la mesa to see a movie and hang out with friends. I don't like that there is not much to do here, makes me think about relocation. Let's get with it santee!!


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