Mars Hotel Project

Four parcels on Adams Ave at the corner of 35th Street are slated for the development of a 7 story mixed use building containing 175 studio apartments.

The development as currently configured does not promote Smart Growth concepts and if built would be in violation of municipal code.

Quick Facts about the Mars Hotel Project

Sourced from the developer’s permit application, recorded presentation to the Normal Heights Community Planning Group, and publicly available data.

  • Originally submitted as the Mars Hotel
  • Location: 35th & Adams Ave
  • Total Lot Square Footage: 25,799
  • Floors: 7 (1 retail + 6 residential)
  • Residential Units: 175 between 493 and 598 sq ft
  • Affordable Residential Units: (13 per developer presentation)
  • Other Residential Units: >$2K/month (per developer presentation)
  • Parking: 1 level of subgrade parking; 100 spaces (per developer presentation)
  • Public Courtyard: 6000 sq ft (per developer presentation)


Review of the Mars Hotel Project was placed on hold on June 8, 2022. On August 2, the Normal Heights Community Planning Group (NHCPG) voted to ask the Development Services Department (DSD) to request a resubmission of the Mars Hotel Project to bring it into compliance with City of San Diego Municipal Code. 

On August 12, DSD required a resubmittal of the project from the Mars Hotel developer, INI Greenfield. Since then, NH4SG has reached out multiple times to DSD and to city officials to confirm that the resubmittal would be reviewed under City of San Diego Municipal Code. On August 26, the Mars Hotel Project was resubmitted to DSD. 

DSD has confirmed that they intend to approve permits for the project, as submitted, even though it does not meet State of California regulations for a Transit Priority Area. 

On February 14, 2023, the City Council voted 5/4 in favor of creating Sustainable Development Zones that would increase acreage available to the Complete Communities program which would include the site of the Mars Project. If the Mayor signs the legislation without removing the SDA portion, the Mars Hotel would become compliant under the new rules.

Our Statement on the SDA

The recent City Council 5/4 vote on the municipal code update contained the controversial SDA that was not appropriate for the 2022 Annual Comprehensive Code Update which is intended to “to simplify and streamline the permitting processes, assure compliance with state and federal regulations, and eliminate unnecessary barriers, redundancies and contradictions.” 

The SDA is much too large of a change to be included in this package and is more appropriate for inclusion in the Housing Action Package 2.0 which will allow a more thorough analysis of implementation and impact. The major concerns with the SDA as currently written run counter to climate action goals, equity of access, Vision Zero, walkable neighborhoods, and most importantly dramatically undercuts funding for much needed infrastructure projects.