El Corazon (the Heart, in Spanish) is a City-owned parcel of 465 contiguous acres located in the center of Oceanside, bounded by Rancho Del Oro Drive on the east, Oceanside Boulevard on the south, El Camino Real on the west, and Mesa Drive on the north. An ongoing planning process begun in 2003 will eventually develop the site to contain the following mixture of land uses: parks and recreation (212 acres), habitat (164 acres), civic services (34 acres), Oceanside Boulevard commercial (25 acres), village commercial (19 acres), and hotel (11 acres).
On August 31, 2011, the City Council approved the selection of Sudberry Properties/Soccer Field of Dreams as the developer for El Corazon, following unanimous support from the Economic Development Commission (EDC) and staff. Please see the EDC staff report and analysis on this topic, as well as a copy of the developer’s proposal. El Corazon Specific Plan Amended December 2019 (96 MB - large document).
On January 2, 2013, Council approved a El Corazon Recreational DDA Amendment 1 , including an athletic fields lease agreement for the development of multi-use fields. Council also approved a DDA for commercial development and the balance of the recreational area development at El Corazon. Council approved plans for grading a portion of El Corazon pursuant to the Reclamation Plan and authorized City Engineer to call for bids.
On November 4, 2015, Council approved a Professional Services Agreement with RNT Architects for the design, entitlement and environmental approvals for the an aquatics center at El Corazon.
On May 5, 2016, conceptual design and environmental studies were submitted to the Planning Department to begin the approval process. The approval process is anticipated to be completed in Fall of 2016. Renderings. The Aquatics Center will provide competition-level amenities to serve Oceanside residents, school districts, and host regional meets. Main components will include a 56-meter competition pool, diving boards, instructional pool, splash pad, administrative offices, meeting rooms, large multi-purpose hall, locker rooms and outdoor recreational and viewing areas.
In November 2018, the City Council approved the plans for the El Corazon Aquatics Center project. During the first quarter of 2019, the City Council agreed to fund the project through the sale of bonds. A construction contract was awarded in the fall of 2019. A groundbreaking was held for the El Corazon Aquatics Center on October 30, 2019. Work is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2021 with a grand opening slated shortly afterward.
Under the terms of the 2013 DDA, Sudberry has the right to lease or purchase the commercial land they have rights to develop. Although the DDA expresses a lease preference, Sudberry has the ability to purchase commercially-designated land if it’s determined that a lease would be “economically disadvantageous,” a term that is defined in the DDA.
In 2019, Sudberry submitted development applications for an approximately 6,000 seat arena and a 238-unit mixed use residential development on two of the commercially-designated sites. The arena and mixed-use sites are the primary properties currently (December 2020) under consideration for lease or purchase by Sudberry. The arena is proposed on the triangular-shaped site designated “VC” on this map. The mixed-use residential project is proposed on the rectangular-shaped site designated as “VC” on the map. Both the arena and mixed-use residential projects are allowed uses under the Specific Plan, subject to review and approval by the Planning Commission. On January 28, 2021, the El Corazon Standing Committee heard the item on the proposed Arena Califino project. On February 22, 2021, the Planning Commission voted to recommend a development plan and Conditional Use Permit for the 171,291 square foot multi-purpose sports arena and event facility on a five-acre parcel within the 465-acre El Corazon property. Staff Report The project broke ground in May 2021, and the San Diego Sockers entered into a partnership with Sudberry Properties to call Oceanside their new home. They anticipate the project to be complete in time for their 2023 season.
Any formal actions related to the future lease or purchase of these properties will take place in conjunction with an open City Council agenda item where members of the public would have an ability to participate in the discussion. On May 5, 2021 the City Council will consider selling two commercially-designated sites within El Corazon to Sudberry in accordance with the provisions of the DDA. The agenda item will allow for full public participation and all financial documents substantiating the proposed purchase will be made available for public review. These documents include an independent analysis of the transaction prepared by a third party consultant hired by the City. The May 5, 2021 staff report was published at least three days before the meeting on the City Council Agenda webpage. Sign up to receive the agendas in your inbox here.
Meetings were also held in January 2021 for input on the design of Park Site 1. Details
On April 19, 2021, the Planning Commission approved the development plan of a three-story mixed use project consisting of apartments and commercial space in the "Village Commercial" area of El Corazon, on the northeast corner of Senior Center Drive and Village Commercial Drive. Staff Report
At its meeting on October 20, 2021, the City Council approved the renaming of the El Corazon Aquatic Center to the William A. Wagner Aquatic Center. Details