Last night was the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s (SDAF) first “Context” event, which featured a discussion between Darlene Shiley, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, and Robert Wellington Quigley about the process that brought the new Central Library to fruition, and its implication for future civic projects in San Diego. [Read more…] about SDAF First ‘Context’ Event, with Jacobs, Shiley, and Quigley, Enjoyable and Enlightening
The long vacant ground floor of the TR Produce Building (888 J Street) may finally receive an occupant under a proposal before Civic San Diego. However, because the prospective tenant is primarily an office use rather than a retail use, it will require a conditional use permit (CUP) subject to certain findings being made. The prospective tenant, Underground Elephant, “focusses on providing enterprise marketing software solutions to companies. . .” The company has 85 – 90 employees and is currently located in 600 B Street. To mitigate its non-conforming use, Underground Elephant proposes a “Coffee bar” at the front of business, which will be open to the public. [Read more…] about TR Produce Creative Space Proposal Another Example of City Council’s Folly in Approving Demolition of Other Creative Space.
The Urban Discovery School, currently located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood just north of downtown San Diego, is proposing a move to a new location in downtown’s East Village. The project involves some welcome adaptive reuse and will allow the school to grow to 450 students. The school’s is nearing the end of its term at its current location. The new site is owned by the San Diego Community College District. Urban Discovery School has negotiated a 99 year lease which will go to the College District Board for approval on April 17, 2014. The site is the block bounded by 13th & 14th Avenues and E & F Streets, near the planned Village Green park. The Civic San Diego staff report summarizes the project as follows:
A revised Pinnacle project for 11th & Broadway is in design review at Civic San Diego. The main difference seems to be that the developer now proposes to relocate (by 50′) the historically designated Hamilton Apartments rather than demolish them as had been previously approved by the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) in 2012. An act of enlightenment and altruism, or an act pragmatism (i.e. to avoid litigation or utilize tax credits)? The Civic San Diego staff report doesn’t say. In any case, preserving historical resources and adaptively reusing existing structures can only be a good thing for downtown’s diversities of architecture, people, and uses. The staff report to the Civic San Diego Real Estate Committee summarizes the project: [Read more…] about Revised 11th & Broadway Pinnacle Project in Design Review – San Diego
A recent article by John Karras, founder of consulting firm UrbanSCALE, offered “12 Strategies That Will Transform Your City’s Downtown.” The article was a good selection of the many revitalization strategies, and addressed some important sticking points, e.g., transitioning from auto-orientation and healing the gashes created by the the last half century of urban freeway construction. One or two of the strategies are still-controversial or not widely accepted, e.g., eliminating minimum parking requirements (even imposing maximum parking restrictions), which made the article even more of a worthwhile read. Moreover, [Read more…] about How San Diego’s Downtown Scores on 12 Point ‘Vibrant Downtown Strategies’ Test
These days, a lot of projects are crashing through the gates of community plans and dashing existing neighborhood character under the banners of smart growth or transit oriented development. [Read more…] about 10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth