Kilroy Realty has found a novel way to disarm community opposition to One Paseo, the 1.4 million square foot project it would like to build in Carmel Valley: Bring in desirable tenants.

The newest of those could be the North Coast Repertory Theatre.

Project opposition — led by groups like What Price Main Street?, a reference to the project’s aim for a walkable, urban feel — has largely centered on its size, and the resulting congestion.

The 23-acre property is presently zoned to allow for construction of 500,000 square feet of office space; Kilroy is asking the city to amend the community plan to allow for a 1.4 million square foot development that would also include residential and retail space.

But instead of scaling back like its opponents want, Kilroy wants to sell One Paseo on the merits of its would-be tenants.

That often means touting the possibility of luring a Trader Joe’s, a prospect that is a selling point to One Paseo’s supporters and a punchline to those who think it’s a paltry tradeoff for a worse overall quality of life.

Soon, One Paseo could add another arrow to its quiver of desirable tenants: one of the county’s most respected theaters, which could serve as a cultural anchor for the area.

Representatives from both Kilroy and North Coast Rep say they’re in preliminary negotiations to build a new theater in One Paseo.

Each side says the other initiated the conversation, but both agree there’s mutual excitement about the possibility.

North Coast Repertory, currently located in Solana Beach in the Lomas Santa Fe Plaza shopping center, has two options on the table. One is One Paseo.

The other is an offer to move to a new, standalone building in its current location. The center’s owners would rent North Coast Repertory the parcel for $1 a year, and the theater would be responsible for raising funds to build the new facility. But that’s predicated on the owners remodeling the entire center, which has been on hold ever since the real estate market tanked.

That agreement was brokered with the help of the city of Solana Beach after the theater planned to move into a new project at the Solana Beach train station, Cedros Crossing, before it was nixed by the Solana Beach City Council.

“Really, that was the sexiest site ever,” said Allen Moffson, president of the theater’s board of trustees. “That would have been perfect. But it was voted down, and that’s what I fear might happen with One Paseo.”

Based on the theater’s needs, Robert Little, Kilroy VP of development, estimated the hypothetical North Coast Repertory Theatre at One Paseo could occupy between 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, which would come out of the project’s nearly 200,000 square feet of retail space.

A discussion on One Paseo’s traffic effects is scheduled for the Carmel Valley Planning Board’s March 28 meeting. Little said he doesn’t expect to come to an agreement with North Coast Repertory by that time.

I’m Andrew Keatts, a reporter for Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0529 and follow me on Twitter:

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Andrew Keatts

I'm Andrew Keatts, a managing editor for projects and investigations at Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org...

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