– Renderings are up for the new 45-story, 296 unit Bosa residential tower planned for the parking lot just west of the Santa Fe Depot. It’s the second high rise from the right in the front row of this image (the tower across Broadway is another Bosa development currently under construction):
The project will feature an open public plaza and ~15,000 sq. ft. of retail/commercial. In addition to the projects mentioned above, Bosa also built Bayside, The Grande and Electra, all nearby. While it’s great to see one developer investing so heavily in the area, what does that say about downtown San Diego’s ability to attract a wide range of residential developers?
– Construction at Horton Plaza Park has been back underway for a while now and there are some small new structures up:
– Upcoming events: Is it possible for a machine to think? Uncanny Valley is a unique science fiction play from San Diego Rep appearing at the Lyceum Theater through May 10th that asks this and many other questions we may soon have to answer… Bike to Work Day is Friday May 15th, check out the map of all the pit stops… North Park Festival of the Arts is the next day, featuring a craft beer block and two beer gardens… And the following day is Pedal to the (Petco) Park Day – join an organized ride to the baseball game, or make your own way to the Bicycle Pavilion at Park Boulevard & Tony Gwynn Drive… Silo at Makers Quarter‘s 4th annual Craft Beer and Bites features 15 new breweries on Saturday the 30th… Earlier in the day, check out the Bike SD Bike Month Bash at the Lafayette Hotel, featuring a ride down El Cajon Boulevard to some select businesses. Art Around Adams is back on June 6th.
– Summer is around the corner and often provides an uptick in business for San Diego dining establishments. There’s been a flurry of activity recently: Rustic Root, next door to Don Chido, opens on 5th downtown next week and includes a rare second-floor rooftop dining/bar area. I’ve always wondered why Austin has all those rooftop venues while our downtown (with its milder climate) mostly restricts dining to ground level or high up on hotel rooftops… Park and Rec from the Waypoint Public folks also opens this month in the former Bourbon Street location in University Heights and will feature live music and DJs, with old-school games in the courtyard… Hillcrest gains a new winery in August but loses R Gang Eatery this month. I was surprised that R Gang remained open this long, it often looked empty evenings, but perhaps the brunch business compensated for a while.
Here in Kensington progress is slow on a number of fronts. It looks like the sushi joint planned for the Kensington Video space from the Ponces folks may not be happening, given the handwritten For Lease sign now up in KV’s window. While the store closed weeks ago, there doesn’t appear to be any rush to clear the space for a new tenant:
Two doors down, the former Fish Public spot remains empty several months after closing, and further east on Adams the Pappalecco build-out has been impressively slow. But it’s the Stehly Farms market in the new Kensington Commons building that has been the most bewildering. A recent post on Nextdoor Kensington said the opening has been delayed from January to June, but several commenters asked why the apparent deli equipment permitting issues weren’t considered before leasing to the market owners, and some speculated the market may never open.
Meanwhile a recent Uptown News article about Kensington Commons made no mention of the market’s issues, or the absence of evening activity on this block resulting from a lack of any dining establishments. KC is still a big improvement over the gas station previously at this location, but I can’t get on board with the article’s praise for KC’s Spanish colonial architecture. This style may fit in to the neighborhood, but I personally find this building to be bland and outdated compared to the vibrant and award-winning North Parker:
– I was critical of Uptown Planner Tom Mullaney in a recent post over his views on housing. Tom has emailed a response which I’ve included below. Our exchange started in response to a Hillcrest resident complaining about the impact of the Mr. Robinson project on street parking (the resident can also be seen in the video accompanying this article).
This exchange started based on your statement at Uptown Planners in support of a high density project at Park Blvd and Robinson, in spite of concerns about adequate parking.I will respond belatedly to your email from 3/10/15.
Dr. Ross Starr is the economist who explained a few years ago that San Diego has high housing prices because it’s a nice place to live.I already mentioned that Dr. Richard Carson is the prominent UCSD economist who explained a few years ago, to SANDAG officials, why there was no evidence of a housing shortage. He did not say “shortage of affordable housing” which appears to have a different meaning. Yet neither term can be defined satisfactorily.To summarize his findings: There is no agreement on how to measure an adequate number of homes, or a shortage. There is no evidence that the market mechanism is broken. That is, developers can and do buy land, design projects, finance and build them.I will add: The City of San Diego Housing Element contains an inventory of “housing sites”. This plan has been approved by the State of Calif as demonstrating an adequate number of buildable sites.A reasonable conclusion is that developers routinely look for and find land which has the potential for new projects, in which they can make a profit. They move forward whenever they can devise a project which “pencils out”, if they can obtain financing.The phrase “housing shortage” has been repeated so many times that it’s become accepted as fact, by some people. I don’t want to be unduly critical about the 2/5/15 article in the Voice of San Diego which you referenced. There must be better cases made as evidence of a housing shortage. I urge you to reread that article. The logic is almost childish.Excerpt:
We looked at census data to find the number of new housing units added in San Diego County between the 1990, 2000 and 2010. In 1990 there was one housing unit for every 1.285 members of the labor force. By 2010, that had risen to 1.346 workers for every housing unit in the county. Even adjusting for the increase in labor force participation, between 2000 and 2010, we added about 20,000 fewer houses in the county when judged against increases in the local labor market. So where did those workers go to sleep at night? Simply put, the failure to build enough in our county fueled demand for housing in southern Riverside County, and to an extent, BajaConsider what the author is saying: That during any period in which the labor force grew faster than the housing stock, we can conclude that there was a housing shortage!Such a simplistic conclusion completely ignores factors like: The average number of residents per dwelling unit (household size), changes in the square feet and number of bedrooms per home, and the age of the workforce, which can affect household size.In conclusion, I don’t doubt that Transit Oriented Development offers some benefits. I think there is good reason to create safe bikeways. However, trying to cure a “housing shortage” is a futile goal, since such a shortage can’t be adequately defined, and is probably non-existent.Tom Mullaney