Four months into 2012, things are looking up, Mayor Jim Evert said Friday during San Clemente's annual state-of-the-city report.
Among other things, Evert predicted more economic growth and development as the city moves forward with its .
“I think Marblehead will be a great addition to San Clemente in terms of [shopping] outlets and revenue for the city,” said Evert, who delivered his remarks at a luncheon in the Bella Colinas Golf Club off La Pata.
The 248-acre construction site is now financially backed through Lehman Bros., which will market it to developers, Evert said.
Craig Realty Group, a commercial property company, plans to begin construction on 640,000 square feet of retail space in 2013, according to a PowerPoint presentation at the luncheon.
Evert also offered a sunny spin on the hot-button . The 4.5-mile extension, billed as a critical alternative evacuation route, will run through San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano and should have its design phase completed by the end of 2012, Evert said. The project’s approximate $80-million cost is mostly funded, with $9 million still to come from sources the county is “confident” will become available.
Although the local economy continues to recover, 7.4 percent of San Clemente residents remain out of work. The mayor encouraged residents to "shop local" to boost city sales-tax revenue.
Other items discussed:
- Art in Public Places: Among the legal and illegal art displays around the city this year, the council has compiled a "public art" pilot featuring “street art” as well as art festivals within San Clemente. Eight tiled murals have been planned to decorate Avenida Del Mar, two which have been completed and installed.
- Vista Hermosa Sports Park and San Clemente Aquatics Center: The $33-million construction budget gave way to a 45-acre lighted park that includes three baseball fields, two soccer fields, one multipurpose field, one football field, a 50-meter competition swimming pool and a 9,000-square-foot bathhouse with concessions. Future private ventures include a mini-golf course and a wave pool.
- Another project within the Vista Hermosa Sports Park was Courtney’s SandCastle, a playground dedicated to universal access for people of all ages and abilities. The playground received recognition as “Outstanding Special Project 2012” from the California Association of Parks and Recreation commissioners and board members. Funds are still being raised for phase two of the playground.
- Library expansion: The $1.6-million plan, approved in October, calls for a 14,484-square-foot modernized library equipped with advanced technology and bookstore. The Friends of the Library organization raised about $200,000 for the project. It is expected to be completed in 2013.
- Ralphs Fresh Fare: Construction of the grocery store began in December in south San Clemente. It's expected to open by August.
- Ole Hanson Beach Club Renovation: Built in 1928, the historic site has never undergone a complete restoration. Construction will begin in January and cost an estimated $2.5 million.
CORRECTION: Because of a reporting error, the projected completion date of the La Pata Extension and the developer of the retail portion of the Marblehead site were misstated in an earlier version of this article. Patch regrets the mistake.