Extension granted on Rancho Santa Fe Gateway project

The Gateway project is planned for the entrance to the Rancho Santa Fe village.
(Karen Billing)

The Rancho Santa Fe Association approved an extension for the Gateway Project, a new commercial development that will replace the existing gas station on the corner of La Granada, Via De Santa Fe and La Flecha.

The project was first approved by the board in a 5-2 vote back in 2017 after about five years of planning and working with the Art Jury—the Association’s approval extension goes out to June 2025.

Gateway is planned to be a two-story office and retail building that includes a landscaped open space plaza open to the public and three levels of underground parking. The developers also hope to fill a ground-level space with a small market—the village has been without a grocery market since Stump’s closed in the Plaza De Santa Fe in 2015.

“The project has been delayed for reasons beyond our control,” said Fernando Landa of Landrock Development at the board’s Jan. 13 meeting.

It took two years for San Diego County to vacate two easements in the right-of-way on La Flecha and La Granada for the project to move forward—after the county board granted the key approval in December 2019, the pandemic hit.

“Many companies switched to remote working and it put this office project into question,” Landa said. “But now that the economy is recovering from COVID and the office market in particular is recovering, we’re ready and excited to move forward with the project.”

The two Association directors who voted against the development nearly five years ago wanted a guarantee from the developers that a market would fill the space. Per the 2017 agreement between Landrock and the Association, the developer is obligated to use its “commercially reasonable best efforts” to lease to a grocer for a five-year term.

An updated project timeline will be dependent on the county but Landa said they are hoping to get all project approvals in 2022.

“We won’t stop until we get it done,” said developer Enrique Landa.

To avoid any potential conflict of interest, RSF Association Vice President Bill Strong recused himself from the board’s vote on the extension as Fernando Landa is his son-in-law.

The Association granted a similar extension last year on another new village building—the proposed new Rancho Santa Fe Pharmacy. Also initially approved in 2017, the new pharmacy building on the corner of El Tordo and La Granada has also been delayed at the county and the board granted an extension through 2023.