The City of Santee and Mayor Randy Voepel arranged this update on the state of many projects, business openings, road repairs, redevelopment and other happenings in Santee for a presentation to New Frontier Mobile Home Community.
The City has several major street improvements completed or underway, such as resurfacing Mission Gorge Road, and street resurfacing and storm drain replacement along Carlton Hills Boulevard. We’re doing our best to maintain all our roadways.
We’re also taking proactive steps to monitor conditions of our citywide drainage systems—we’re one of the few cities that is proactively replacing the corrugated metal pipe system installed decades ago, and we’re using camera-technology to identify weak areas for replacement. This prevents future sink holes.
We are currently working with the San Diego River Conservancy to complete the San Diego River Trail through Santee with the addition of the Hanlon Walker multi-use path connecting to Lakeside. With this addition, we’ll have a complete system of trails along the San Diego River through Santee, connecting with the Mission Trails Regional Park to the west, and Lakeside to the east.
Because of State action, redevelopment agencies have been eliminated statewide, resulting in the loss of millions in revenues locally that were envisioned for additional projects-- like the build-out of the Riverview office park and site improvements for the future theater and hotel. As we’ve always done—we’ll find other ways to finance these projects, but it is a huge loss to the City.
Fortunately, the City was able to issue one last redevelopment bond measure in March 2011 to secure funding for extensive street and visual improvements along the Prospect Avenue industrial corridor.
Several new businesses and restaurants are coming to town. The city is adding seven national chains in 2012 alone (plus Phil’s BBQ). That will make over 130 national chain retailers and restaurants in Santee.
Since January 2012 – Fresh & Easy, Goodyear Tire and Chipotle have opened.
BevMo is opening in October and Phil’s BBQ is opening by early November.
In N Out will be open by Thanksgiving, and Chick-fil-A and Buffalo Wild Wings will open by the end of the year.
Another local favorite, the Boll Weevil, is opening soon in the former Michael’s Grill.
GTM center along Carlton Hills Blvd.recently completed a $3 million renovation of the entire center
San Diego Christian College
SDCC is relocating their campus to Santee for next year’s fall 2013 classes. They are taking over five building in the Riverview Office Center behind Trolley Square. They are currently at 500 enrollment and they have plans to expand their campus in Santee to 1,200 students. This college will bring more jobs and business to Santee.
Job growth is holding steady. Santee’s latest unemployment rate is the 7th lowest in the region (among 18 cities), and Santee also has the 7th highest median household income. Both Santee and La Mesa are at 7.5 percent unemployment, compared to San Diego city and the countywide rate of 9 percent. El Cajon is at 12.2 percent, Lemon Grove is 11.2 percent, and Lakeside is 10 percent.
Hartford has consolidated their call center operations to the 2nd floor—and there is a supply company that is moving into 1st floor in the Hartford Offices, and bringing about 150 call center jobs to the city. This is in addition to the new jobs coming with the retail businesses opening.
Retail, Office & Industrial Vacancy
Retail vacancy is about 5 percent in our major retail centers, and we’ve maintained that 5 percent rate throughout the Recession, which is significant. Staff has been tracking our national chain retailers and restaurants since 2008, and Santee has actually had a net gain of 11 national chains since 2008, which is a positive sign.
Santee’s Office vacancy has been harder hit, but there are still positive trends. For the current YTD 2012, Santee is at 27.2 percent vacancy rate, compared to 13.2 percent for East County and 15.4 percent for the region, but Santee also had a net gain for over 53,000 sf.
One of the biggest factors is the college taking over five office buildings in the Riverview park.
Santee compares very favorably in our Industrial vacancy rate of 3.4 percent for the current YTD 2012, compared to 8.2 percent for East County and 10.4 percent for the region.