North City Development Saves Historic 35-ft Oak Tree and Opens New Road


On August 12th, Oak tree will move to its new home off Twin Oaks Valley Rd in San Marcos’ New Urban Neighborhood


Why did the giant oak tree cross the road? To get to its new home on North City Drive, at the center of North County’s new urban “live, work, eat, play” neighborhood called North City.

The 35 foot tall historic oak tree is being relocated and saved from a future development area along the Twin Oaks Valley Road corridor so it can thrive and add beauty and nature to the growing North City community.

The tree will be carefully removed from the soil and boxed by experts, all while being highly sensitive to any stress on the tree’s fragile root system, and then lifted by crane to be replanted on August 12th around 8am. Media are invited to attend and capture the replanting of one of America’s official National Trees and a staple feature for the region.

“Sustainability isn’t just a buzz word we throw around; it is a mode of operation that extends into every aspect of our decisions,” said Gary Levitt, Principal of Sea Breeze Properties. “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.”
Twin Oaks Valley is said to be named for a legendary 200 year-old oak with two trunks growing out of a single base and rumored to be a meeting place for Native Americans that lived in the area during the 1800’s. The oak is one of the older indigenous species in Southern California and has been crucial to the development of the region, from early uses in material and building needs, medicinal uses, and providing acorns as a food staple.

The North City Drive intersection at Twin Oaks Valley Road officially opened to the public in early July. This is an important milestone to the development, as it provides primary access to North City’s urban core of restaurants, apartments, and offices. The oak tree move is carefully timed as the first of several exciting changes to North City. Opening at the end of August is a new 140,000 sqft CSUSM Extended Learning Building including ground level retail and a pedestrian bridge over Barham Drive linking to the CSUSM Campus. This proximity and partnership between the CSU system’s fastest growing college and North City is an enriching feature to both growing communities.

Opening in early September to answer the explosive demand for urban style living in North County, is a 66-unit extension to the fully-leased Block C Apartments which are located at the heart of North City and includes a mix of ground floor retail and restaurants.

The future of North City includes a Mesa Rim Climbing Gym, due to open June 2020, and a mix of retail, grocery, office, a movie theater, and more housing still to come.

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Imagine living and working in an urban oasis - a spot central to all North County - where you can walk to work, bike or hike the local trails, shop at the market across the street and meet friends for drinks down the block. A cosmopolitan center, that sparks a strong sense of place and pride among the people who call it home. North City’s compact area, strategic location, and easy access to existing mass transit, make it the most exciting new development in San Diego County. This is North City.

The North City development overall is projected to include:

  • ~3,000 units of mixed housing (including single-family, market rate apartments, affordable housing & CSUSM affiliated student housing),
  • ~375,000 sqft of mixed retail (including restaurants, grocery, entertainment, and other services),
  • ~750,000 sqft of commercial office, and ~20 acres of parks and trails.

To learn more about the North City development, follow the progress and events on Instagram @northcitysanmarcos, or visit