Old San Marcos oak now a centerpiece of new North City neighborhood

Crews prepare a native oak tree for placement in its new home the morning of Aug. 12 at the North City project in San Marcos. The tree was moved from its original spot nearby. (North City courtesy photo)

North Coast Current

If you visit the growing cluster of housing and businesses just across from California State University San Marcos on the north side of East Barham Drive, you will find the new home of a living landmark.

An old 35-foot-tall oak tree is now the centerpiece of a roundabout at North City Drive and Campus Way in the new North City neighborhood. Crews carefully transplanted the native tree from its original location nearby on the morning of Monday, Aug. 12.

For North County-based Sea Breeze Properties, North City’s developer, the oak’s preservation reflects an effort to recognize San Marcos’ history and a focus on sustainable building, according to a news release about the project.

“Sustainability isn’t just a buzz word we throw around; it is a mode of operation that extends into every aspect of our decisions,” Gary Levitt, Sea Breeze Properties principal, said in the news release. “We’re ecstatic to not only save a local oak tree but to showcase the beauty of this old tree as an iconic natural feature at the heart of North City. We hope the community will embrace this new landmark and it will soon become a common phrase to say, ‘Let’s meet up at the old oak tree.’”

The indigenous oak also represents the species’ importance to people, from the region’s native inhabitants to today’s communities, from building material and medicinal uses to food, North City noted in its announcement.

The North City neighborhood is located at the intersection at Twin Oaks Valley Road and Barham Drive in San Marcos. In addition to apartments, restaurants and offices, the development includes a new 140,000-square-foot CSUSM Extended Learning Building.

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