San Diego – The developers (GLJ Partners) of the proposed Fat City Lofts project in Little Italy near the Solar Turbines plant have asked the Planning Commission for a 60 day continuance in order to evaluate converting the project into two hotels, according to Roger Showley in the San Diego Union Tribune. Picking up on statements made by Solar Turbines representatives that practically anything other than a residential project would be acceptable to them, including a hotel project, GLJ is redesigning the project to accommodate both a standard hotel and an all-suites hotel, for a combined 377 rooms. The Solar Turbines’ statements were made at CCDC hearings on the proposal. According to Solar Turbines, regulations protecting residents combined with the heightened concern that residents typically display posed a risk of environmental litigation. In turn, a residential project increased the potential that Solar Turbines would close their operations in downtown San Diego and move elsewhere, possibly outside of the City. Solar representatives said such regulations and risk were not posed by a hotel use. The argument was sufficiently convincing that CCDC President Kim Kilkenny, citing the Downtwon Community Plan and the City’s General Plan policies giving preferences to uses preserving “economic prosperity,” rejected the project, according to a Feb. 23 UrbDeZine report by Elizabeth Gildred. GLJ appealed the decision to the Planning Commission. The hotel-redesigned project would reportedly preserve portions of the Fat City restaurant, as agreed in a deal struck with historic preservation group, Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO). Jonathan Segal of GLJ says they will pursue the original residential Loft Plans if Solar reneges on their statements about not opposing a hotel, according the to the Union Tribune article.
About Bill Adams
Bill Adams is the founder and chief editor of UrbDeZine. He is also a partner in the San Diego law firm of Norton, Moore, & Adams, LLP. He has been involved with land use and urban renewal for nearly 25 years, both as a professional and as a personal passion. He currently sits on the boards or committees of ,The Public Interest Advocacy Collaborative, San Diego Historic Streetcars, The Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County, and the Heal the Gash Committee (reconnecting communities divided by freeways).