Encinitas will have, in the not to distant future, one of the finest resorts in Southern California, perched on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean, with endless views and price tags to match just over the Carlsbad border.
Being built on the hill above the Ponto South Carlsbad State Beach parking area, at the corner of the coastal highway and La Costa Avenue, this resort promises to make a significant statement to residents and visitors alike, regardless of their perspective. The site is adjacent to Sea Bluff, a townhouse condominium development where homes are priced in the $800s to the low millions depending on location and views.
Many oppose it, as it takes away from the already-limited beach front. Certainly one has to be concerned about the environmental impact, as well as more noise and traffic in an increasingly congested area due to its year-round popularity. And there has been much controversy about the impact on lodging issues in Encinitas, privatization of public land, and related matters.
I certainly can see some advantages for the city in terms of tax revenues, and an influx of business from those enjoying the resort, but it also saddens me to see beautiful, wild beach front property disappearing and the cost of its public enjoyment rising astronomically. And concerns about increased congestion cannot be ignored. (views of the site are below)
Ground breaking is due this fall, with vertical building in 2008 and occupancy planned for 2009. I understand there will be restrictions on when construction can occur in order to not prevent the public from using the popular beach area, as well as how the builder will have to deal with the sand that is to be excavated. (photos below taken on Labor Day at 90 degrees - about the most crowded the beach below the building site gets).
This boutique resort will have 130 units, 30 of which will be hotel units (expected costs for suites range from $800 up to $3000 for the most spectacular) while the rest will be 2 and 3 bedroom condominiums available for purchase (I have heard prices expected to be in the low millions), with residents able to use them only 90 days out of the year (a similar development at the La Costa Resort and Spa, managed by KSL Resorts, the same developer, allows 120 usage days; KSL also manages the Hotel Del Coronado which has similar facilities).
In addition to the units, there will be a luxurious spa and a gourmet restaurant on the top floor with 180-degree views, all open to the public. There will be swimming pools and meeting rooms as well.
The new resort will certainly make a major visual impact on the area, on the border of Carlsbad and Encinitas (in Leucadia).
Interestingly, the area was the site of Noah's Ark, a rustic restaurant and trailer court replete with wooden camels, elephants and tigers on the hillside along the 101, that closed in 1960. [photo taken from Debra Jane's Homepage- please visit her site - one of her passions is roadside architecture and there are some great pics].
Guess that's progress.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2009:
Well, nothing has happened yet, as anyone who has driven by has noticed. I don't know the details but suspect the massive delays are financial in nature, given the economy.I have not heard any talk about when this may actually get built. Maybe never?
Things have slowed at the La Costa Resort as well in terms of their villas - the last phase was sold out but they have not moved ahead with the next phase which is way past due. Word has it this project is on hold indefinitely.
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