Council Approves Westfield North County Revitalization Plans

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The Escondido City Council has approved a revitalization plan that will reestablish Westfield North County as the preeminent shopping center destination in North County.  The agreement calls for an investment of more than $55 million by center operator Westfield and the center’s retailers that will revitalize and improve the mall. The renovation will be funded entirely through private investment at no cost to the City or taxpayers. The City has agreed to provide Westfield a 15 year lease extension on the land on which much of the shopping center resides. The current lease expires in 2038.

 “A revitalized Westfield North County will create jobs and provide a substantial source of new revenue for the City to fund economic development programs and vital City services, such as police and fire protection,” said Escondido Mayor Sam Abed. “Additionally, the project will boost the local economy by adding new jobs at a time when employment opportunities are most needed.”

 Specific elements of the mall revitalization include:

- adding a new 150,000 square foot, multi-level Target;

- revitalizing the interior of the shopping center, which involves new floor finishes, interior paint and lighting schemes, furniture, handrails, signage, and a children’s play area;

- adding two new full-service restaurants;

- overhauling the food court and remodeling the restrooms;

- remodeling and updating all eight entrances to the center; and

- resurfacing the entire parking lot.

 “Westfield looks forward to continuing its long partnership with the City of Escondido,” said Jerry L. Engen, Senior Vice President, Development for Westfield San Diego. “This agreement creates an opportunity to transform Westfield North County to ensure that it remains a top shopping destination for decades to come.”

 Target, which operates 1,767 stores across the United States, will establish a 150,000-square-foot store in the space formerly occupied by Robinsons-May, bringing new life to a former department store building which has been vacant since 2006. The multi-level Target store will include an expanded fresh food assortment providing greater convenience and value to guests.

 “Target will be a welcome addition to Westfield North County that will complement as well as supplement the existing tenant mix, as has been demonstrated at many Westfield centers across the nation,” said Engen, citing Westfield Topanga, where the synergy created by the combination of Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Target has been a huge success and has created the top shopping destination for the valley.

 Work is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012. Westfield’s goal is to complete the revitalization in time for the 2012 holiday season.

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Annual State of the City Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Mayor Sam Abed and the City Council will hold Escondido’s Annual State of the City Address at a morning meeting co-sponsored by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce.  The event will be held in the Conference Center of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 beginning with a breakfast at 8:00 a.m. followed by the program at 8:30 a.m.

The breakfast is available for $14 per person. To make your reservation for breakfast or to obtain sponsorship information, please contact Michele Pacheco at the Escondido Chamber of Commerce by calling 760-745-2125 or emailing her at mpacheco@escondidochamber.org. The deadline to reserve breakfast is 5:00 p.m. February 1, 2012. Persons wishing to attend the program may do so at no cost, if they are not eating breakfast.

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Road Closures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

There will be two road closures in Escondido on Friday, January 6, 2012:

North Broadway and East Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for crosswalk & signage modifications.

East bound Washington Avenue between Centre City Parkway and Escondido Boulevard will be closed between 8:00 a.m. and noon for paving associated with the Paramount/Venue project.  The west bound turn lane from Washington and Centre City Parkway will also be closed. 

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You Can Serve Your City

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The Escondido City Council is preparing to begin its recruitment for volunteers to serve on eight boards and commissions.  Vacancies will occur on all of the following:  Building Advisory and Appeals Board; Community and Older Adult Services Commission; Historic Preservation Commission; Library Board of Trustees; Personnel Board of Review; Planning Commission; Public Art Commission; and Transportation and Community Safety Commission. 

For the most part, the qualifications to serve are residency within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan.   

Historic Preservation Commission requires a resume to assure that you have specific expertise.   The Planning Commission may require evidence of certification for design professional classification. The Library Board requires either residency or that you work within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan, and the Public Art Commission requires that you either reside or have a business within the designated boundaries. 

Meeting times and frequency vary, depending on the commission, and the term of office is four years, with the exception of the Library Board, which has a three-year term.   The application period will begin on January 2, 2012 with a closing date of Thursday, February 16, 2012. 

More information is available on the City’s website at www.escondido.org/boards-commissions.aspx or by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 760-839-4617. 

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Naturalist Don Parnell's 81st Birthday Marathon Distance Hike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sue Evarts, Volunteer Coordinator, 760-839-4241 or 760-855-6316

Help Naturalist Don Parnell celebrate his 81st birthday by joining him on a 26.2 mile hike, covering all the trails of Daley Ranch, on Saturday, January 7, 2012.  Don’s hikes are fast paced, long, and not recommended for young children.  Hikers will be treated to an approximately 11-hour guided tour of all the trails on Daley Ranch.  Hikers are encouraged to bring headlamps, hiking poles, lots of snacks, and a lunch and to wear layered clothing and treaded hiking boots.  The hike begins at the Caballo Trailhead at 7:30 a.m.  To get to the Caballo Trailhead from Interstate 15, take the Valley Parkway exit in Escondido and go northeast about five miles.  Turn left at Bevin into the Eureka Springs development.  Follow the road toward the filtration plant entrance and turn right at the Escondido Humane Society sign (Volunteer Lane.)  Park in the dirt parking lot.

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Escondido Makes "Most Inventive Cities in America" List

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: December 15, 2011
CONTACT: Michelle Geller
PHONE: (760) 839-4587

A list published recently by Newsweek’s online news outlet The Daily Beast ranked Escondido in the top 25 most inventive cities in America based on patents per capita.  At number 23, Escondido had 257 patents awarded in 2010, which equates to 179 patents per 100,000 residents.  San Diego also ranked in the top 25 at number 15.  The list can be viewed at http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/10/02/america-s-most-inventive-cities-san-francisco-seattle-rochester-ny-more.html .

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Escondido Names New City Clerk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips announced today that Ms. Diane Halverson has been selected as City Clerk of Escondido, replacing Marsha Whalen who retired on October 14, 2011. She will begin her duties in January 2012 with a salary of $112,000.

Ms. Halverson has been employed by the City of Escondido since June 2006 and currently serves as Executive Office Coordinator in the City Clerk’s Office.  Ms. Halverson holds a Master of Arts Degree from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Pacific Union College. She is a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks as well as the City Clerk’s Association of California and recently received her Certified Municipal Clerk designation.

In making the announcement today, City Manager Clay Phillips noted, “Our retired City Clerk Marsha Whalen has been one of the best City Clerk’s Escondido has ever had and she will be greatly missed.”  Mr. Phillips further noted, “However, the City is fortunate to have the in-house talent that allows us to promote from within. Diane has outstanding interpersonal skills and I know she will do an excellent job in effectively managing our City Clerk’s Office and ensuring the highest levels of records management and customer service for our community.”

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Live Fire Department Training

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ken Slaven, 760-520-5376

The Escondido Fire Department will conduct live fire training in vacant single family houses located on the corner of El Norte Parkway and Broadway on December 3 and 4 between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.   

Live fire training exercises are an invaluable tool for firefighters to practice skills and techniques in controlled fire conditions.  Smoke is a by-product of this training and will be present during the drill sessions in the area of the training.

Community Housing Works has made the vacant buildings available to the Fire Department for live fire training prior to being demolished.

 

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Escondido’s Newest Public Art Project to be Installed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido’s newest public art project, “New Leaf” by artist Dan Dykes, will be installed in the median of Centre City Parkway near Felicita Avenue on December 1, 2011 between 4:30-9:00 a.m.  A formal dedication of New Leaf will take place in the early winter after the landscaping and lighting is finished, and the permanent guard rail is installed.

Mayor Sam Abed expressed enthusiasm for the art piece noting, “This sculpture will be a striking addition to our public art program and will serve as a welcoming icon for residents and visitors to Escondido.”

The sculpture is an elegant fusion of material and form that represents a growing evolving community.  With roots in the past, forged by the present, and reaching towards the future, New Leaf points to a vibrant growing city.  It creates a feeling of movement and transition that sweeps along with the viewer as they enter or leave the city.  Like a plant reaching for the light, New Leaf reaches towards and points to the City of Escondido.

New Leaf is seventeen feet high, three tons of bronze and stainless, and thirteen feet long. The leaf-like forms emerging from the base are bronze; the large curving obelisk is etched stainless steel.  The forms dramatically merge together and sweep up into an arching wave.  The wave connects with a curved stainless steel mesh form that emerges from the top of the sculpture.  Light passes through the mesh, illuminating the vein of a leaf captured inside the mesh.  The sculpture rest on a stainless steel base with the name of the artist, and the fabricators laser cut into the base.

Dan Dykes, a San Diego artist, is internationally recognized for his expertise in metal sculpting. An artist for over twenty years, he travels extensively, teaching professional level skills, lecturing and giving university and college seminars.  His work is in many private and public collections.

New Leaf was sponsored through the City of Escondido’s Public Art Program which is funded through a developer fee that can only be used for public art. For further information, please contact Susan Pollack, Public Art Consultant, Community Services Department, City of Escondido at (760) 839-4331.

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SDG&E Holiday Light Exchange

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

San Diego Gas and Electric will hold a LED holiday light exchange program from 1 to 5 p.m. on December 4 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Customers can exchange up to three strands of incandescent holiday lights for an equivalent number of energy-efficient, multicolored LED holiday lights. To participate, bring your old lights and a copy of your current SDG&E bill or California ID. To date, SDG&E has exchanged 40,885 LED holiday light strands to more than 14,000 customers. Visit sdge.com or call 800-411-7343.

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