The Village at Market Creek, the major development planned for the neighborhoods surrounding Euclid Avenue and Market Street in southeastern San Diego, has been named a “model of sustainability” by the State Department of Housing and Community Development. The designation comes with a $1.35 million affordable housing grant.

The project is being developed by the nonprofit Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, which as I’ve previously reported, plans to build 1,000 new affordable homes in the blighted community along with more than 500,000 square feet of office and retail space.

The state selected two San Diego developments as “catalyst projects” to promote the state’s strategy to develop sustainable urban communities that lessen environmental impacts, are walkable and transit oriented, and provide job and retail opportunities for residents. The other project is a planned 230-acre Mission Valley development called Quarry Falls.

The Village at Market Creek has been in the works for more than a decade, and aims to transform southeastern San Diego’s Diamond neighborhoods, where the Jacobs Center has been buying up vacant land for years..

It now owns more than 50 acres in the low-income community. The organization’s plans have drawn the strong support of residents who have long hoped to see improvements in their community, but also skepticism and even hostility from longtime residents who fear Jacobs has accumulated too much influence over the community’s future.

Jacobs plans to use the $1.35 million state grant to build affordable ownership housing, said Tracey Bryan, a spokeswoman for the Jacobs Center. The recognition as one of 13 catalyst projects statewide will make it easier for the organization to apply for future funding to complete the Village at Market Creek over the next several years, she said.

“In the short term, it’s going to help us build affordable housing,” Bryan said. “But it’s also a longer-term endorsement to help advance the project.”

— ADRIAN FLORIDO

Rob Davis

Rob Davis was formerly a senior reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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