By Ray Huard, San Diego Business Journal
The original posting of this article can be found HERE
Construction at long last has started on the more than $200 million resort hotels, and downtown Oceanside is undergoing a renaissance of sorts with more than a dozen projects planned, finished or under construction and a plethora of new residential buildings, restaurants and shops springing up downtown and along Coast Highway.
“With the apartments and the hotels and restaurants, it brings a lot of interest here as the next up-and-coming thing,” said Tracey Bohlen, Oceanside economic development manager. “There’s a lot going on.”
Jerome Cohen, senior vice president of S.D. Malkin Properties said, “In general, it’s an exciting time for Oceanside.”
Downtown development slowed when redevelopment agencies were abolished throughout California in 2012.
‘Tons of New…’
“In the last five years, it’s accelerated,” Cohen said. “Tons of new restaurants, new residential buildings have gone up, breweries, cafes, retail. It’s coming together nicely.”
Among the larger downtown projects, planned, built or under construction are a 117-room Marriott Residence Inn, Pierside South and Pierside North multifamily and retail projects by GF Properties, Cleveland Street Beach Lofts, and the 149-room Springhill Suites.
“I used to say all I wanted was a downtown that I would be proud to take my family around and take them out for a nice dinner. I can finally say that’s what we have and it’s only going to get better,” said Rick Wright, executive director of MainStreet Oceanside which represents downtown merchants and other businesses.
“We’re enjoying this wonderful renaissance of young chefs opening new restaurants downtown and some of them have been very successful in opening second restaurants,” Wright said. “I think we’ve gone from like 30 restaurants to 70 restaurants over the last four or five years.”
Several breweries and tasting rooms also have popped up in or near downtown.
As listed by the city, they include Surfside Tap Room, Stone Brewing Co., Barrel Republic, Northern Pine Brewery, Breakwater Brewing, Local Tap House and Bagby Beer Co.
“There have been substantial changes to our downtown area over the past decade, but none stand out to me more than the thriving dining scene that has taken hold in our downtown and coastal areas,” said Scott Ashton, CEO of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. “Now, more than ever, coastal Oceanside is known for great restaurants, breweries and coffee houses.”