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San Diego Council Approves Planned Home Depot with Midcentury-Style Elements

New Mission Valley Store To Retain Googie Components From Building’s Bowling Alley Origins

By Lou Hirsh CoStar News

May 26, 2021 | 7:06 A.M.

The San Diego City Council approved permits clearing the way for retailer Home Depot to build its next local store in the busy Mission Valley neighborhood, preserving design elements from an existing building’s 1950s-era bowling alley origins.

The Atlanta-based home improvement chain plans to build its 21st store in the San Diego region at 1895 Camino del Rio S, the site of an event center owned and operated by the Scottish Rite, a Masonic group.

Home Depot plans to redevelop the 14-acre site off Interstate 8 by replacing the single-story, 64,000-square-foot event center with a 106,688-square-foot retail building that would have an adjacent 17,916-square-foot garden center and a 155,013-square-foot structure for parking and deliveries.

On another portion of the property, the retailer plans to work with the Scottish Rite to develop a smaller two-story event center spanning 40,000 square feet.

The new Home Depot would preserve Googie-style architectural elements from the current building’s origins as a bowling center called Bowlero, which operated from 1957 through 1964. After discussions with local preservationists, Home Depot plans to incorporate components including the building’s jet-age-style entranceway with a sharply sloping roof.

John Ziebarth, local project manager for Home Depot, said the new store will also have informational signs pointing out the unique architectural elements to visitors. An exact opening date has not been determined, but Ziebarth said the new store is expected to create 275 to 300 permanent jobs after opening and about 750 construction jobs.

The council on Tuesday voted 8-1 to affirm a prior Planning Commission approval of the project. Councilmember Vivian Moreno voted "no," citing concerns raised by local residents and neighboring businesses about increased traffic in the area.

Councilmember Raul Campillo, whose district includes Mission Valley, was among those supporting the project, noting it fits with current community planning standards. He said Home Depot has taken steps to address traffic flow along Camino del Rio South,

including the flow of delivery trucks off and onto the retail property from the nearby I-8.

“Mission Valley is always nervous about more and more traffic,” Campillo said during the meeting. “So I feel Home Depot has done a lot to make sure this is actually an improved road in lots of ways, including the bike lane and the middle turn lane.”

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