Alex Hughes — April 1, 2018…Before entering the intersection of Vista Village Drive and North Santa Fe, we can take a left by Soroptimist Park which I highlight here: http://thevistapress.com/enhancing-soroptimist-park/.
Across the street is where parking used to be for Vista Village, now it is being prepared for a new construction project that will become a five-story combination of retail and residential housing. When I first saw it, it reminded me of Downtown San Diego with a very similar design and aesthetic. You can see the project on the City of Vista website: https://gis.cityofvista.com/planningprojects/. It is number 24.
We pass by Sonic and the Veteran’s Memorial Park until you arrive at Paseo Pointe which are the affordable housing units built in 2015. The ground-level consists of retail storefronts which have been empty since the buildings arrived. They are quite spacious and would be perfect for boutiques or small shops that tourists would visit when going downtown. However, they are hidden from the streets which make them hard to notice. Another location that has been available since at least 2016 was the building that housed Gil’s Feed. They sold livestock food and also other random items such as tomahawks and soldier helmets! It was torn down and replaced by a more restaurant friendly building that is still vacant. It appears to have lots of the elements of what appears to be a tavern or bar with exposed wood beams and aged metal. Perfect for another downtown brewery! Although, there are already quite concentrated there!
Past Gil’s Feed is the construction zone for another development. There will be improvements to infrastructure such as lights, sidewalks and power lines which will be put underground. The city details the plans here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1104839445083&ca=8cb636b4-3c34-40e8-97f5-f3eb1c70297c. There used to be many small shops in this area; however, they were not the type to sell products but more services oriented. This meant that it was not useful for people to come down here unless they had a specific agenda with taxes, insurance, paint, vacuums or their car.
Some places have come and gone such as Franco Lattes Cafe, Peppertree Postal Depot, Tortas El Rey Mexican Food and Saigon Market. There were even stores that lasted but had to move because of the current construction. I like to walk down here to see a side of Vista that seems so full of potential. I imagine that this stretch of road is like Highway 101 in Oceanside where there are many stores that you can walk into for clothing or knick-knacks, and I see that this could be the case in this area. I wonder if that is what the city is planning?