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The long-empty ATT/PacBell structure at the northeast corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue in North Park has been a magnet for homeless people and taggers ever since it became empty. The nonprofit Community HousingWorks has now outlined its proposed concept for that property and a small parking site across Texas Street.

Empty lot across Texas Street

Members of the North Park Planning Committee's urban design/project review subcommittee and about 20 attendees on November 4 viewed a presentation of design concepts for the mixed-income development located at 4220 Arizona Street and 4212 Texas Street. The sites are 1.21 and 0.56 acres, respectively. No specific plans have been prepared, as it's too early in the development process.

The larger lot would tentatively have 118 units and 152 parking spaces in four stories, plus a mezzanine over basement parking. The smaller lot would have a five-story structure for low-income seniors, providing 76 units and 60 parking spaces. The number of units and parking is subject to change.

Dave Gatzke, vice president of multifamily acquisitions with Community HousingWorks, said start of construction should be sometime in 2015. The lots were purchased for $5.15 million, Gatzke said. No construction estimate is available at this time, he added.

The developer's design concept

The project is tentatively called Intersection, as it's one-half block from the major intersection of Texas Street and El Cajon Boulevard. The under-construction Mid-City Rapid Bus Project will have a stop there. The design concept is a multiple-building approach for each site, with use of courtyards, varying building heights, and an open public plaza. The plan emphasizes openness, walkability and a “green street experience.”

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