Palma de la Reina to bring new retail to Rancho Santa Fe by summer


Progress continues on Palma de la Reina, the new mixed-use retail and residential project on Via de la Valle, at the entrance to the Whispering Palms community. The 31,410-square-foot complex’s first tenants are expected to open this summer, a “big upgrade” from the long-vacant empty lot with community-serving retail, according to Richard Cavanaugh, president and CEO of Newport Pacific, who developed the Whispering Palms community in the 1960s.

Construction on the retail element is expected to be complete in May, the end of a very long process for Cavanaugh.

Although there have been several plans over the years for the 4.3-acre parcel, Cavanaugh has been working on this latest iteration since 2000.

“After working for years with Rancho Santa Fe residents and stakeholders, we created a plan to provide the best possible services and residential opportunities for the community,” said Cavanaugh. “I think residents are going to be happy with what they’re going to have here.”

Robert Colbourn, of Colbourn Currier Noll Architecture, designed the three-building Palma de la Reina with Klang & Associates responsible for interior design. W. E. O’Neil Construction is the general contractor.

“It will be a beautiful job,” Cavanaugh said, noting that the landscaping in the front of the project will include 32 new palm trees along Cancha de Golf.

There will be lots of architectural details in the buildings, including archways, stone wainscoting and stucco in a mix of lighter and darker colors. The tile roof is anticipated to go on in the next week or so.

The buildings feature a unique open area at the top, opening up to sunlight, sky and palms, intended to help break up the massing and preserve the view for surrounding properties.

The retail element is about 50 percent leased at this time and Cavanaugh said tenants are anxious to get in and open their doors.

Leases signed include a fitness studio, dry cleaners and a beauty salon. One of the more unique tenants will be My Brighter Side, a store that carries products for women with cancer.

Office leasing at Palma de la Reina also continues with a signed commitment from a local dental practice, as well as interest from other users in the medical and professional services fields.

Cavanaugh said they are most excited to be close to a deal with a deli/coffee shop.

The residential units sit behind the retail and will be two-bedroom, two-bathroom “luxury” apartments. The 54 units are expected to be done by the end of the year, offering some of the only upscale rental opportunities in Rancho Santa Fe.

One of the biggest upgrades will be for the developer himself, whose company has run out of portable offices on the site for years. The portables will finally come down in the next 30 days and they will move into offices in the brand new building.

For leasing information on Palma de la Reina, contact Scott Danshaw or Steve Willmore of Lee & Associates at (858)713-0309.