San Diego City Council Unanimously Approves Riverwalk San Diego

Hines expects to break ground in second half of 2021 for 200-acre, transit-oriented village

(SAN DIEGO) – Hines, the international real estate firm, is pleased to take another step toward groundbreaking of Riverwalk San Diego – following unanimous approval by the San Diego City Council at its November 17 hearing. The project will transform the existing Riverwalk golf course in western Mission Valley into a 200-acre, live-work-play transit-oriented neighborhood. Nearly 100 acres of the village will be dedicated to open space and a regional park. Hines will also restore the stretch of the San Diego River that runs through Riverwalk.

“Riverwalk is an opportunity to provide something really special for San Diego,” said Hines Managing Director Eric Hepfer. “Our vision from the beginning was to create a village where people would have the option of living a car-free lifestyle.”

Due to its transit-, bicycle- and pedestrian-centric design, Circulate San Diego awarded Riverwalk San Diego a Mobility Certification and also testified on the project’s behalf. The Mobility Certification program evaluates and endorses transit-oriented, smart growth projects in the San Diego region that meet the program’s aspirational standards.

Riverwalk will be anchored by a new San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Green-Line trolley stop and town square at the heart of the village. Bike and walking paths will skirt and traverse Riverwalk, including an extension of the San Diego River Trail.

Riverwalk will feature 4,300 homes, 10% of which will be income-qualified affordable housing, ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes. It will also add 152,000-square-feet of neighborhood-serving retail and one million-square-feet of office space to the area. Additional transportation amenities will include intelligent traffic signals, new entryways on Friars Road and increased flood capacity improvements to Fashion Valley Road.

“It is an example of the smart growth philosophy the City has been preaching for a long time,” said San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman, whose district includes Riverwalk.

“I am delighted that we are attacking our problem of not having enough housing in San Diego,” said Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell, whose district sits just west of Riverwalk. “This is a beautiful project that will have a beautiful park.”

The Riverwalk plan, established through a partnership between Hines and the Levi-Cushman family landowners, garnered recommendation from the City of San Diego Planning Commission and from the Mission Valley Community Planning Group. The Riverwalk plan incorporated extensive community input, gathered over several years by the Hines team in over 100 stakeholder and community planning group meetings and charettes.

“The Riverwalk team made a serious commitment to engage with our planning group and listen to the community,” said Jonathan Frankel, chair of the Mission Valley Planning Group. “They incorporated many of our recommendations and designed a great project that brings significant benefits to Mission Valley.”

Frankel also spoke in favor of the project during the hearing, along with 16 other proponents who called in to testify.

Riverwalk also received support from the San Diego River Park Foundation. “We were happy to support Riverwalk after having the chance to work with the Hines team over several years to advance major park and open space features of the proposal,” said Rob Hutsel, president and CEO of San Diego River Park Foundation.

Other supporters included YIMBY Democrats, The San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, IBEW 569, United Association of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 230, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Climate Action Campaign and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"On behalf of Hines and our partners from the Levi-Cushman family, we'd like to thank the community, the planning group, the government officials and the many other stakeholders for their support of this transformational project, with a special thank you to City staff at the development services, planning and parks departments,” Hepfer said. “We went into this with the goal of broad and deep support. We could never have imagined this level of consensus. We are truly grateful and humbled."

About Hines

Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 225 cities in 25 countries. Hines has approximately $144.1 billion of assets under management, including $75.5 billion for which Hines serves as investment manager, including non-real estate assets, and $68.6 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 165 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,426 properties, totaling over 472 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 576 properties, representing over 246 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit for more information.