San Diego – I was saddened to learn today that the demolition of these two buildings to make way for a 35,000 s.f. surface parking lot was approved last month in a public hearing, which no one but the applicant attended. This news is contrary to what I incorrectly reported previously. Apparently, the application was not reviewed by the Centre City Advisory Committee due to the cancellation of their July meeting. The public notice for the subsequent conditional use permit hearing went unnoticed by the public, and due to the lack of opposition, the hearing officer waived the appeal period.
Our much vaunted redevelopment project has now created a downtown, while taller, has less street level facade square footage than when I first opened my law practice here 25 years ago. Parking is so inexpensive now (as little $5/day) that there is little incentive to use the City’s mass transit system. It seems reasonable to assume that the surplus of parking also undermines the cost recovery for the municipal parking garages constructed with public subsidy during the height of redevelopment. I sense an Onion nomination for next year’s San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchids & Onions Awards.