By Glen Van Peski
Community & Economic Development Director
City of Carlsbad
New investments in the City of Carlsbad’s retail, tourism and entertainment industries are delivering new leisure activities for residents and visitors while boosting the local economy.
The family-friendliest project on the horizon is a new LEGOLAND™ California Resort Hotel, the theme park’s second. The new three-story, 137,700 square foot hotel will offer 230 rooms and 20 suites, all with LEGO themes. LEGOLAND California debuted in Carlsbad in 1999 and opened its first hotel in April 2013. That hotel has been such a success that the park is proceeding with plans for a second.
Not far from LEGOLAND, Grand Pacific Resorts is building new timeshares at its complex along Grand Pacific Drive, and plans to construct a new 71-room Westin Hotel and 36-unit timeshare on an ocean-view site overlooking The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course.
A unique project taking shape near Grand Pacific Resorts and LEGOLAND is a new venture in urban agriculture. The North 40 Urban Farm, just north of the Flower Fields along Car Country Drive, will feature organically grown crops where people can experience food production from farm to table. The Carltas Co., which owns and operates the Flower Fields, has planted olive trees, grapes, hops, blueberries and even coffee.
The urban farm will include craft breweries, a micro winery, an olive oil press and other producers, and visitors will be able to enjoy locally produced foods right where they were grown. The project, which will include a wholesale floral trade center, is slated to open in 2018.
While the North 40 Urban Farm celebrates Carlsbad’s agricultural roots, the city’s Village continues to attract new private investment that will help ensure Carlsbad’s historic downtown area remains vital for years to come.
Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana and Seafood on Grand and Roosevelt joins its successful Cardiff location.
With the closing of Fish House Vera Cruz on Carlsbad Village Drive last year, Bluewater Grill is moving in, offering sustainably caught seafood prepared classically or with a modern twist.
On north State Street, Dragmaster closed its doors after a long run as an automobile repair shop, and that building is getting a complete makeover as a multitenant eatery. Campfire, which will feature two 48-inch round grills and an outdoor patio, will be joined by Carruth Cellars, which has been seeking a suitable Carlsbad location for a while. Owner Adam Carruth also operates a winery in Solana Beach. Joining Campfire and Carruth Cellars will be Baba Coffee.
Taking advantage of San Diego’s love of craft beer is Barrel Republic, which will move into the State Street site vacated by the former Australian Grill. Barrel Republic, which has outlets in Pacific Beach and Oceanside, features pour-your-own brews.
And moving into space formerly occupied by Chin’s Szechwan Restaurant on Madison Street is Pokewan, a casual eatery where patrons can assemble their own poke bowl. Pokewan is run by the same owners as Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar, which is next door.
On the retail front, La Costa Town Square is adding well-known retailer Michaels to its $75 million shopping center at La Costa Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Drive. In the Village, several new offerings have debuted in time for summer. Check out the Village Beat in this issue for details on summer events down in the Village.