Landscape Design: The Ultimate Return on Investment

Two of our most recent projects, we believe, deserve extra special attention. We honestly can't claim all the credit. In fact, in both cases there was an amazing collaboration that made these projects extraordinary—our clients, the contractors, and the stake-holders, to name a few. It's truly an honor to have the opportunity to be involved in these projects. We feel it should be noted in the following cases, by investing in good design clients were able to surpass their project goals!

Case Study 1: Sharp Coronado Hospital Entry and Arrival Remodel Project

We joined the AVRP Skyport/Nielson Dillingham team in a competitive design-build pursuit. Working closely with the AVRP Skyport team, we developed computer-generated 3D renderings of our vision for the campus. We were honored to win the pursuit and our client took our renderings immediately to the community to raise support. They got the support they needed, and one donor fully funded the project! The entry landscape paved the way for the largest campaign in the hospital’s history. They secured more than $14 million in contributions to support the creation of a new entry and state-of-the-art Outpatient Pavilion. The entry project cost was originally estimated at $750,000. The impact of our design generated a 1,867% return on investment in future donations.

Case Study 2: San Diego State University Centennial Mall Modernization

A project originally envisioned by campus planners Laura Shinn and Robert Schultz had a budget of $750,000. Once the project came out of the ground, a philanthropist took notice and donated $1,000,000 to the school towards the project (a 133% return on investment).

In a world where society is increasingly focused on enhancing the quality of the environment, the value placed on landscape architecture cannot be underestimated. Our work is most successful when we able to calculate a return on the investment for our clients. Especially when, as these two case studies illustrate, the return is well above expectations. Because we develop incredible new spaces for people to live, work and play, our clients are experiencing the true value of landscape architecture.

A Time For Thankfulness

mccullough thanksgiving 2017

During this season we joyfully express our sincere appreciation for your trust and loyalty throughout the year.
We are deeply grateful and extend to you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day!


This beautiful photo was taken of our project at Farmer & the Seahorse at The Alexandria in La Jolla.

Rejuvenating a Garden That Inspires

As the heart of their community, the central green had become a sea of brown grass. The residents at Vista Del Monte, a highly desirable senior living facility located in Santa Barbara, had deserved better. They needed a space to relax and enjoy, filled with life and color. The residents and management were under direction to reduce their water consumption. However, a dead lawn was not serving the community in any way. McCullough Landscape Architecture was invited to work with the ownership staff, residents and general contractor to imagine a solution that achieved a wide range of goals. The design was primarily focused on facilitating social interaction. Other goals for the design were to be cost-effective, colorful, drought tolerant and a space for promoting outdoor activities.

McCullough’s landscape consisted of many diverse design elements. A few of these elements included:

  • Masses of colorful native plants that mixed with lush woodland species (which are well suited for shady areas beneath the mature pines and magnolias)
  • Special attention was placed on preserving a grove of mature trees that had large root zones, posing a challenge for circulation
  • Soft, curvilinear decomposed granite walkways which swayed through textural, mounded garden areas
  • Quiet seating areas, or pods, were positioned throughout the garden
  • A turf area was reduced by 2/3 through a small formal lawn, allowing a familiar landscape for the residents to remain while also reducing water usage

McCullough has designed a space where the residents are able to fully enjoy the garden  and surrounding nature.

Shawna A. Bortolussi, LEED-AP
Associate Landscape Architect, McCullough Landscape Architecture

McCullough: Experts on Mixed-Use Urban Development

In a recent article published in the San Diego Business Journal, McCullough discusses how Public-Private Space in Mixed-Use Development can transform the landscape of San Diego.

“It’s a neighborhood, a community, and perhaps most importantly home to families and individuals who live, work, and play within their community,” said David McCullough.

As Seen In San Diego Business Journal