Medical tourism and binational retail centers are among the myriad opportunities presented by property surrounding the San Diego–Tijuana border crossing, said members of a panel discussion organized by ULI San Diego–Tijuana in October. But the San Ysidro crossing—the busiest border crossing in the world—remains a daunting, congested funnel for binational business, panelists said.
“The problem of crossing the border has to be addressed,” said Gary London, senior principal of London Moeder Advisors, a San Diego–based consultancy.
Panel members participated in a recent technical assistance panel (TAP), organized by ULI San Diego–Tijuana, to examine the challenges and opportunities presented by development of the area around the border crossing. A report resulting from the TAP, Cross Border Visioning: An Exploration of a United Cross-Border Experience, focused on a wide array of specific improvements to streets, sidewalks, parks, signs, and landscaping to help transform the border into a more welcoming environment.
The border section “should be a lot more attractive, and it has opportunity to be more attractive,” said discussion moderator Diego Velasco, principal of M.W. Steele, an architecture and planning firm. Tijuana has been unable to connect the development and new energy of the central part of the city to the border, which is attracting more millennials and hipsters, Velasco said.