The smallish gap (75′ wide) between the Andaz Hotel and the Jewelers’ Exchange Building, now being used as a parking lot, may be developed with a Fairfield Inn hotel tower. More precisely, the site is midblock on the east side of 6th Avenue between E & F Streets. The proposal is now in the early design phase.
The Developer is J Street Hospitality LLC / Sajan Hansji and the architects are Awbrey Cook McGill. Hansji is the same developer who took over the troubled Gaslamp Quarter Marriott Hotel site, which served as the basis for the condemnation and demolition of the Gran Havana Cigar Factory and Cafe and two designated historic structures leaving nothing but a parking lot for the better part of a decade. However, Hansji is not the developer who caused that fiasco. That accolade goes to the former Redevelopment Agency, Ramin Samimi and Ed Himmelberg dba GRH LLC. (See this Voice of San Diego article – Ahhh, the upside of the elimination of the Redevelopment Agency!) Nevertheless, since that Marriott has yet to break ground, its a fair assumption that entitlement of the current project will not necessarily translate into imminent construction, pending a rebound of hotel financing in downtown San Diego.
The current proposal is for 13 stories (157 feet) and 154 hotel rooms. The Centre City PDO requirement of 0.3 parking spaces per hotel room will be satisfied with 46 parking spaces on one below grade level, accessed via car elevator, and operated via 24 hour valet (no self serve parking). Better yet, the project will replace a parking lot resulting from a not-so-long-ago demolition rather than being the cause of a new demolition. Downtown has been plagued by an excessive number of half and full block scrapes, resulting in “interim” parking lots and urban character killing projects. For more details, please see the staff report at this Civic San Diego PDF link. (Who knew Fairfield Inn did cool urban infill projects?!)