For the last three years, Caruso and his team have been eyeing the more than 200 acres of land south of the Hedionda Lagoon near the strawberry fields, east of Interstate 5.
“It's not only beautiful in terms of scenic beauty, but it's beautiful in terms of people on the lagoon,” said Caruso.
If his plans are approved, Caruso plans to build an outdoor shopping and dining space across 26 acres of land. The plan provides that 85 percent of the 203 acres will be preserved as newly accessible open space and agricultural land, including miles of new trails and picnic areas.
“We have talked to about 4,000 residents of Carlsbad and what they want is new retail, the kind that is about the gathering space,” said Caruso.
The project is tentatively being called 85/15. In late August, it will seek approval from the city council before it can begin construction.
To sweeten the pot, Caruso plans to use revenue from the promenade to fund conservation of the area’s natural habitat with no cost to taxpayers.
In terms of water conservation, the project is slated to use recycled water through an existing pipeline already running through the area.