“There’s a lot of potential in North County for decades to come,” says William Morrison, his eyes alight with enthusiasm. As the Development Director of JPI, a multi-family land developer, Morrison’s dedication to creating vibrant communities in North County is palpable. Over a cup of coffee at the bustling Pannikin Coffee & Tea in Encinitas, Morrison shared his love for the area and his commitment to enhancing the region’s quality of life.

 

Ocean Creek Project

“North County is a great driver for jobs, but we just haven’t matched it with the housing,” Morrison said. That’s part of why he is so excited to bring the Ocean Creek project to Oceanside which is scheduled to open in late 2025. It will be a 295-unit (30 affordable-unit) garden-style community with five, four-story buildings at the Crouch Street Transit Station.

“There are no entry points to the Sprinter. There are parking lots. We started building out closer to the Sprinter stations, so you get entry points. Hopefully our project will help the Sprinter become more utilized as we continue,” Morrison said.

Development Building in North County

Ocean Creek development in Oceanside. which is scheduled to open in late 2025. It will be a 295-unit (30 affordable-unit) garden-style community with five, four-story buildings at the Crouch Street Transit Station.

 

From Vision to Ownership

Morrison started his career in urban and regional planning, utilizing his design skills with a masters in landscape architecture. After getting a secondary master’s degree in real estate development, he transitioned to the ownership side of the industry in 2007. While his design background still helps him envision how the end user will interact with his projects, he enjoys now being able to carry projects to completion.

“I wanted to see things get built. Now I can take the project and go. I’m going to march it all the way from concept to occupancy. So having that ownership through the whole process is really important to me,” Morrison said.

 

Crisis Management & Navigating NIMBYism

From handling site conditions and market fluctuations to navigating the intricacies of city regulations, Morrison’s days at JPI are filled with challenges and opportunities. He good-naturedly calls it “crisis management” while simultaneously noting those problems don’t come with deadline extensions.

One of the challenges Morrison faces is a prevalent NIMBYism, or “Not-In-My-Backyard,” mindset. Maintaining the balance between creating dense, affordable housing solutions to accommodate the growing population, while also preserving the charm and character of North County is no easy feat. How can the public help?

“Being more receptive to good design and worthwhile projects during the participation process can make a significant difference,” Morrison said. “‘No’ should not be the starting point for discussions to have influence.” Instead, residents can engage constructively to shape developments that enhance the region’s livability.

 

Innovative Solutions to Green Building Code

In addition to the day-to-day project management, Morrison has been focusing on integrating green building and sustainability into JPI’s projects. The newest green building code requires JPI’s multi-family developments to generate 50% of their power usage on-site. While these initiatives are critical, Morrison admits that some aspects are difficult and property owners are not quite prepared to implement the changes to the code.Quote about developing in North County

Despite the hurdles, Morrison is eager to find innovative solutions. He believes that partnering with other companies to capitalize on tax credits and maximize solar generation and storage should help JPI align with the region’s growing focus on environmental consciousness.

Over the years, Morrison has learned to take all these highs and lows of the job in stride.

“There are so many small defeats in all the problem solving I’m doing. Those are weekly, even daily,” Morrison said. “I have to look down the road and remind myself that in 12 months I’ll have a big success. I try not to take setbacks personally. It’s not really a defeat as much as an inconvenience, part of the process. And hopefully, it makes a better project.”

 

North County, Heaven on Earth

Developing creative communities in a place he loves and getting to raise his family here makes it all worth it to Morrison. A North County resident for 24 years, he especially loves the stunning coastal landscape of Leucadia nestled between the San Elijo and Carlsbad Lagoons.

“That doesn’t exist in Orange County or Los Angeles. That doesn’t exist in Santa Barbara. It’s heaven on earth, man. I love it,” he said. “I get to live here between two lagoons, and my kids get something my wife and I never had – they’ve all been born and raised in one house.”

Looking ahead, Morrison is excited about the development prospects for North County. With San Marcos, Vista, and Escondido embracing opportunities for development, the 78 corridor is poised for growth and innovation. As job opportunities multiply, so does the need for more housing.

“North County is such a great place, and it’s done such a great job of innovating for business and businesses to come, but we need that housing,” Morrison said. “I’m excited to see what happens here, and I’d love to be part of it.”

 

Read the story covering Louise Brandy, Chief Information Officer for Quidel Ortho here for more content.

 

Get to know some of North County’s entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders, and learn why they believe this region is a world-class place to do business. If you would like your company featured in “Meet North County Stewards,” or if you’d like to nominate someone for an interview, click this link to submit your nomination!

 

About the Author

Caitlyn Canby loves to discover and share people’s stories. She has her bachelor’s degree in Communications, Print Journalism with over 8 years of journalism experience. An Escondido native, she just moved back from Catalina Island to North County with her husband and two children to the town of Fallbrook. Caitlyn enjoys collaborating on projects as Marketing and Events Coordinator at SDNEDC, traveling, and exploring new restaurants, venues, experiences, and cultures.

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