liberty station food market

liberty station food market

Friday is Park(ing) Day, and BikeSD has a complete listing of the 15+ spaces around town where on-street parking will be temporarily reclaimed for everyone. The “cycle-track exhibit from 8-10 AM at Normal St and Harvey Milk St.” in Hillcrest looks particularly interesting… That’s about the same location where Hillcrest will be getting a car-charging station with state grant money; at a recent Uptown Parking District meeting, a letter of support for the station was approved… Elsewhere in Hillcrest, Pernicano’s is finally up for sale, at what seems to be a crazy $12 million asking price. I thought this might be a wakeup call for the “Hillcrest needs a parking garage!” crowd – after all, who’s going to pay that much just to tear down a building for a garage? Well, some in Hillcrest actually expect SANDAG to pay for it, using its bike lane funding on parking instead of actual bike lanes:


If and when Pernicano’s does sell, I’d like to see ground-floor retail with affordable/middle-class housing above, or a boutique hotel. At $12 million, that’s going to be pretty difficult with a 65 foot height limit.

The tweet above was from the Hillcrest Business Association’s (HBA) meeting at Bombay restaurant (thanks Bombay for hosting, and the ample food) on Jim Frost’s Transform Hillcrest bike proposal. City and SANDAG officials were also there, with SANDAG saying they got the message of Hillcrest’s near-universal endorsement of Frost’s plan: that travel lanes could be removed on University in order to add safe bike lanes and retain on-street parking.

It was very disappointing to see the Business Association still pushing for a Washington Avenue version of the plan, named the “Hillcrest Jog” that runs on Washington until 8th Ave. In fact, the HBA’s presentation was almost entirely about parking, not bike lanes – e.g., how much parking has been added to Hillcrest, how the bike plan project had to add *more* parking! Obviously, parking is still more important to the HBA than place-making, or the safety of its residents/visitors who bike or walk. When you add in the HBA head calling for all buses to be removed from University, it’s a sad commentary on their priorities and how out of touch they are with transportation trends.

There are many reasons why the Hillcrest Jog won’t work, and they’ve all been voiced before – bike route indirectness, car/bike conflicts at University and Washington, space issues with the bridge abutments on Washington, another set of parking battles with Mission Hills merchants, etc. Mo’s Universe owner Chris Shaw must be behind the continued attempts to move the bike lanes off his street, even long after University has been selected as the official route. While there’s plenty of off-street paid parking around Urban Mo’s, including another 40 new spaces at the IBEW lot, it seems nothing will stop the never-ending quest to preserve every last precious public princess parking place in west Hillcrest. And that’s a shame, because people will always go to this immensely popular Hillcrest institution, even if they have to walk a block or two.

Elsewhere in the gayborhood, the new Tajima on 6th was full on a recent visit:



I’m usually out of luck at ramen spots due to my egg intolerance but Tajima has a tasty vegan ramen, and there’s plenty of appetizers (karaage, takoyaki [wheat cakes with octopus]) and mini-rice bowls to fill you up, along with $1.50 beers until 7 PM.

Over at the north end of 30th, the folks at Butler Malick pass along some updates on the area around their newest mixed-use project at 4640 30th St:

We’re developing a new mixed use project at the final node of 30th Street. There seems to be a lot of activity around us. Two new
eateries are planned on either side of Polite Provisions, Fall brewing is going in a block South of us, a new gourmet donut shop is going in
next to Island Grinds, Poor House brewing looks to be expanding, and there is a new residential project that started construction just
South of Poor House.

I really think the arrival of Polite Provisions / Soda & Swine (and what an amazing job they did with the old Kadan space), was a huge positive step for 30th & Adams, and the new residential and commercial establishments going in all around them are proof.

Down 30th, Dark Horse Coffee *is* going in next door to Waypoint, as some suggested… at the North Parker, Underbelly had their soft opening this week, meaning all the retail slots in the building are now open. We dropped by Tacos La Perla last weekend (good, but hard to beat that atun ahumado [tuna] taco at City Tacos) and it’s amazing to see just how vibrant this corner is now, compared to before. Great to hear the bike rack on-street bike corral is going in too.  Also – there’s a benefit for the San Diego River Park Foundation at Modern Times Sunday from 3-5 PM; $1/pint goes to the organization.


…And yet, some still criticize the North Parker for being ugly and out of place. Considering what was there before, I am at a loss as to how people could think this, but it serves as an eye-opener to just how resistant many in this city are to change. Across the street, Mosaic Wine Bar is up for sale.

On Park, Eater says the former Babbo Grande is set to be a Slater’s 50/50 offshoot: S&M Sausage & Meat, opening in October… In Balboa Park, Panama 66 has extended their hours to 9 or 10 PM, and installed a new bar. Enjoy these warm nights in the park while you can; I still think having a quality craft beer bar in Balboa Park is one of the coolest things to happen here recently… SD Uptown News says The Rabbit Hole will be doing a comfort food concept in the former Heights Tavern spot, and will be open in time for Adams Avenue Street Fair next weekend.

Downtown, the Quartyard at Market and Park is going to have all kinds of stuff – a park, dog run, another Slaters S&M, a Meshugga Shack coffee shop, food trucks, and a beer garden – and should be “activated” in 90 days. Wow. And given the location, that’s about as urban as it gets for San Diego.

Now compare that to Liberty Station, the low-rise housing-and-commercial development in Point Loma, which has a website with an actual parking lot directory. Is that a place you’d call an “urban area”? That’s exactly how it was described in a U-T article about the forthcoming
Liberty Station Food Market:


More info on the market:

San Diego is poised to get it’s first-ever food hall with the announcement of LIBERTY PUBLIC MARKET, a 22,000 square-foot artisans mecca to be filled with a carefully curated lineup of 30+ specialty purveyors. The $3 million project lies in the hands of Coronado native David Spatafore, Principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality, who is partnering with Liberty Station’s developer, The McMillin Companies, to transform the 1920s-era warehouse-syle building into an indoor-outdoor public market by June of 2015. Spatafore’s marketplace concept is reminiscent of similar public markets sweeping the nation, such as: Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and Vancouver’s Granville Island, and will operate as a co-op, giving small business owners a brick & mortar platform to showcase their products on a larger scale without the commitment or contracts of a formal lease at Liberty Station.

I’m excited about this project (especially since it’s right next door to Stone) but I think food markets work best in urban areas. Reading Terminal, Granville Island, Chelsea Market, Cleveland’s Westside Market, SF’s Ferry Terminal, London’s Borough Market, and Seattle’s Pike Place are all accessible via multiple public transit options. Meanwhile, if you want to get to Liberty Station, you’re probably going to need a car. Its single bus line requires a transfer at Old Town, and there’s no direct service from downtown (the nearest stop is a 13-minute walk, according to google maps). If the Liberty Station Food Market is going to be truly “accessible to everyone” as their press release says, how about making it accessible to those who can’t (or choose not to) get there by car?

Last but not least: Decobike has posted their final bike share station map, with site installation starting later this month… Thanks to Our City San Diego and the World Resources Sim Center for inviting us to their Top 10 San Diego blogs event last week. We got to meet Bill Adams from San Diego UrbDeZine, who has a great write-up on common urban renewal mistakes.

4 thoughts on “liberty station food market

  1. What’s up with the bait and switch my the HBA on the Transform Hillcrest plan. Nothing like taking a sure, good thing and messing it up. I guess Ben Nichols just couldn’t keep his hands (or ego) out of it.

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