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Category: transit

Summer Update

Summer Update

Summer is (sort of) here in San Diego – seems like a good time to run through the photo roll and post some updates… Pacific Gate at Broadway and Pacific has completed construction.  Here’s a picture of the public art out front from several weeks ago: 

From the developer’s press release:

Jaume Plensa’s Pacific Soul – with countless passersby stopping to photograph the installation – located in the public plaza at Pacific Gate, and one of the most important additions to downtown San Diego’s robust art scene. Pacific Soul is a sculpture that stands 25 ft. tall and utilizes characters from eight alphabets, including Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, and Latin in the form of the human figure

(Updated 7/2: added new Pacific Gate and Intercontinental photos)

 

Nearby, the Intercontinental Hotel opens in September and will feature “Five food and beverage outlets, including Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, which will feature an open kitchen in the lobby. More casual concepts include the 19th floor rooftop bar, a pool bar, and a café.” 

And work started this month on Manchester Pacific Gateway, which is expected to be completed in 2021 – an ambitious schedule for a seven-building project covering eight blocks:

Just south of there, Seaport Village‘s welcome obliteration is now scheduled to begin in 2021 (subscription required).  In the meantime, it’s still the only harbor-front path segment from the Hilton all they way to Spanish Landing where bike and scooter riding is prohibited:

That won’t be the case with the Seaport’s replacement, which will have an integrated bay-front bike path.

But it’s East Village that’s seeing the most construction activity in the city right now.  The Alexan at 300 14th Ave is finished and leasing:

Across 14th, construction continues on the 222-unit, 23-story K1 apartment building:

K1 will include an “adjoining mixed-use, low-rise annex designed by Rob Wellington Quigley” – who also designed the downtown library and his personal residence nearby:: 

Pinnacle on the Park‘s second tower continues to grow and will top out at 45 stories (one fewer than the first tower) and 472 units:

Ballpark Village is nearing completion with 713 units across its 37-story tower and shorter buildings:

This rendering from the Welcome to San Diego blog provides another perspective:  

The parking lot in the lower right hand corner of that rendering, next to the 12th and Imperial trolley station, may be the location referred to in this week’s news regarding a state cap and trade funding award for a new 400-unit affordable housing project

A $20 million award will help bankroll a 400-unit housing project operated by Father Joe’s Villages next to the 12th and Imperial transit station in East Village, as well as more than two miles of protected bike lanes on both 6th Avenue and J Street.

Makers Quarter is located in East Village around 15th and F, and will contain a variety of residential, office and commercial properties. Their website states, “Our mission is to cultivate a neighborhood for San Diego’s Entrepreneurs, Artists, and Makers. We aim to preserve the existing Maker Spirit that already thrives here, while consciously developing lifestyle, residential, and business properties, designed to reflect the artistic integrity of the neighborhood.” 

While Makers’ first establishments, 10 Barrel Brewing and Punchbowl Social (which opened earlier this month) are big improvements over what was(n’t) there before, I’m not sure they represent the Maker Spirit originally envisioned.  Case in point: Opinion: 10 Barrel is NOT local beer).  I’m also unclear how luxury condos fit into that vision. But I am a sucker for ping pong, and Punchbowl Social – shown below – has that and much more in the way of games:

The 23,500-square-foot two-tiered complex — built inside a long-abandoned boxing gym at 1485 E St. — combines a made-from-scratch restaurant and three bars with eight bowling lanes, karaoke rooms, vintage arcade games, 8-man foosball, bocce, shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, darts and table games.

The Block D office building at Makers Quarter is set to open this summer:

Elsewhere, Jonathan Segal’s Polk and Park in North Park/University Heights is complete, with restaurant shop BFD moving in from down the street: 

Segal’s The Fort project in Mission Hills looks about done, and its height has got to be infuriating the Mission Hills set – despite being located next to an equally tall building: 

Fort Oak restaurant, from the Trust restaurant folks, will open in The Fort this fall

James Coffee has opened in the new Louie building on 4th in Bankers Hill:

Communal Coffee has been open for a few months now in South Park and they’ve crated a really cozy space:

And finally, since it’s summertime, here’s some irrelevant pics of one of my favorite warm-ish weather hangouts, Panama 66:

 

 

 

End Local Control

End Local Control

CA State Senate Bill 827, which would remove local control over housing near transit, is generating a lot of press:

  • Curbed has a good interview with the bill’s author, Scott Weiner, who addresses much of the flat-out-wrong arguments that SB 827 opponents like Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin are using 
  • Ethan Elkind points out how hypocritical the Sierra Club has become as this environmental organization opposes a bill that would reduce environmentally-harmful sprawl – just to keep the donations rolling in from wealthy urban NIMBY homeowners
  • 130 tech executives have signed a letter in support of SB 827.  But why stop with tech companies?  Nearly all the UC campuses are having difficulty attracting and retaining tech talent due to the extraordinary cost of housing.  My employer, UC San Diego, has a 15-month waiting list for ‘affordable’ off-campus staff housing at $1500/month for a one-bedroom.  While new on-campus staff housing is planned, it’s still several years off.  Shouldn’t the University of California be advocating for more housing in their communities, and bills like SB 827?
  • Meanwhile, the Raise the Balloon folks in Bay Park are rallying support against the bill, and housing near the $2.2 billion dollar Mid Coast Trolley in general.  These trolley stops are exactly where large-scale new housing is needed for UC San Diego and UTC employees:

  • Voice of San Diego printed a remarkable opinion piece from a suburban author opposing smart growth housing near transit while offering no alternatives.  It was flabbergasting to read a long-term San Diego resident proclaim that urban, multi-family housing made her feel “unwelcome”, and that it shouldn’t be built because of poorly-planned development in San Carlos and Mira Mesa (that her own family lived in).  Translation: “The cheap, car-dependent suburban sprawl that my parents and I benefited from should prevent housing near transit for my kids”.  She then went on to criticize the low quality of public transit in sprawl areas, and low transit ridership – while failing to acknowledge that the poor public transit quality likely caused the low ridership.  Seattle is a great example of robust transit growth when transit riders are given priority, but no suggestions on how to improve transit (funding) were provided.   

Speaking of transit:

  • MTS has a progressive new director, Georgette Gomez – a refreshing change from the unnecessary anti-bicyclist comments from former Republican director Harry Mathis
  • The first phase of the MTS Transit Optimization Plan has increased frequency on urban routes and brought Sunday #11 bus service back to my neighborhood!  I’ve been taking the 11 to the new Trader Joe’s at SDSU and it’s really convenient.
  • SANDAG will have a grand opening ceremony for a new segment of the Bayshore Bikeway on Saturday, February 17, 10:00 a.m. at 1400 Tidelands Avenue, in front of the Port District general services building.  At Bike SD we’re hoping to do a post-event ride to check out the IB Bikeway Village, now open for business.
  • The Union Tribune covered last week’s groundbreaking for the Rose Creek Bikeway
  • Drivers only pay half the cost of roads, and they’re falling apart as a result.  California’s new gas tax, which tried to address this, could now be overturned by drivers opposed to paying their fair share
  • San Diego’s Vision Zero seeks to greatly reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, but this week brings another example of its Traffic Engineering Department giving zero shits about the cause.  When told of drivers ignoring a “Yield to Pedestrians” sign, endangering street-crossers, their answer was, “The yield sign tells drivers to stop“, and that traffic flow necessitated green lights directing drivers to plow into people in a crosswalk.  Well done!  Maybe we can go back to removing crosswalks in San Diego for pedestrian safety.
  • Lots of coverage of the Mid-Coast Trolley construction on Genesee Ave last week, so here’s lots of pictures of the construction further west on the UCSD campus (and a shot of the Gilman Dr. bridge): :