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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Hines Pauses $4B Riverwalk Project in San Diego


San Diego

In a significant development, Hines, the Houston-based real estate developer, has decided to halt construction on the ambitious Riverwalk project in San Diego. The project initially planned to revamp the Riverwalk Golf Club into a sprawling mixed-use development, has been put on hold after about two years of work, citing economic concerns.


The decision comes after Hines invested approximately $90 million in infrastructure and foundation work for the northern part of the 195-acre site. The project, located along Friars Road in Mission Valley, was envisaged to transform the area with 4,300 apartment units, alongside office and retail spaces.


Eric Hepfer, Managing Director at Hines, explained the rationale behind the pause. He pointed out the high cost of debt, coupled with escalating construction and supply costs, as primary reasons for the decision. Despite these challenges, Hepfer emphasized that the project remains on track and that the pause is merely a response to current economic conditions.

"When we started this project, we knew that we would face economic cycles, and the partnership was set up for that. We find ourselves in a moment where there’s some volatility in the markets, but that’s really a blip on the radar screen," Hepfer told the San Diego Union-Tribune.


Hines is adjusting its plans in response to the economic climate. The initial phase of the project, which was slated to comprise 937 apartment units, will now consist of 721 units. However, the total number of units planned for Riverwalk remains unchanged. Hines plans to proceed with the additional 216 units shortly after completing the first batch.


The Riverwalk project has been in the pipeline since 2017 and received approval from the City Council in 2020. In addition to the apartments and condos, the project entails 1 million square feet of office space, 152,000 square feet of retail space, and a new stop on the trolley line. The development also features a downtown-style main street, as well as ample green space, including 97 acres of parks, open space, and trails.


As part of its agreement with the city, Hines is committed to providing 430 units at Riverwalk for households earning 65% or less than the area’s median income.

Before the pause, the first phase of the project, initiated in September 2022, was expected to be completed early next year. The southern half of the golf course, however, remains operational.


Despite the temporary setback, Hines remains optimistic about the future of the Riverwalk project. Hepfer reiterated that the developer has everything in place and will resume vertical construction when economic conditions are favorable.


The pause in construction reflects a strategic move by Hines to navigate the current economic landscape while ensuring the long-term success of the Riverwalk project, which promises to be a transformative development for San Diego’s Mission Valley area.

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