I've talked a lot about what is bad about the proposed project, but not about what could be good for our Carmel Valley Main Street. I would love to see something with a village atmosphere, a more small-town approach to development. The final project can still have all the same uses, just at a lower scale. A good place to start looking for ideas is SANDAG's Smart Growth page, where they have a document on Designing for the Region. Here's a rendering they did for Imperial Beach:
I like this because it's a less-urban look, more like the suburban village we imagine for Carmel Valley. This Main Street features 1 and 2 stories of residential over retail, with some of the residential stepped back from the street (so as not to create a looming wall of buildings.) This is much better than what Kilroy proposes, they want to add 2 or 3 stories of residential on top of what you see above!
Here's another image that I like, it's a rendering for the La Mesa Town Center:
I like the trees here and the lower buildings, but it's possible that everything is too vertical. If some of the upper floors stepped back from the street, it would certainly be better. Also, I would love wider sidewalks, where we could have cafes and outside seating.
What do you think? Do you like these better than the urban center that Kilroy has proposed? Or, are you thinking that the Horton Plaza look is good for Carmel Valley?