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staplesla Apr 26, 2010 5:14 PM

Bayfront Projects Stalled

San Diego’s North Embarcadero — the long sweep of bayfront between Lindbergh Field and Seaport Village — has always been a work in progress.

Except right now. There’s not much work and few signs of progress.

That was underscored this month when the California Coastal Commission rejected a San Diego port proposal to build a broad esplanade at the foot of Broadway. Some commissioners chided port officials for not including a large park as part of the project, as was originally envisioned.

To port and city officials, it was a major setback in the effort to revamp the water’s edge. The San Diego Unified Port District now plans to rework its $228 million blueprint for the bayfront, a process expected to take at least two years.

To open-space activists, it was a positive step in their bid to carve out more park land in an area better known for its blocky buildings and pockmarked asphalt.

Other major projects targeted for the North Embarcadero are in limbo because of the weak economy, legal challenges and other issues. They include two blockbusters on Broadway: Lane Field and the Navy Broadway Complex.

Shaun Sumner, a senior asset manager with the port, said the now-stalled North Embarcadero Visionary Plan included public space and road improvements intended to tie the neighborhood together. He said the initial phase of redevelopment would have lowered the elevation of a portion of west Broadway next to Lane Field.

Sumner said he believes the grounding of the plan cheats private developers and the public.

“Public infrastructure is the glue that holds this all together,” he said.

Lane Field developer Jerry Trammer worries that the lack of upgrades will make it even harder to obtain funding for his project.

San Diego Councilman Kevin Faulconer, whose district includes the downtown area, had backed the rejected revamp. He said the city and the port district now have a chance to refine it through extensive public feedback.

“We need to make the waterfront much more people-friendly,” Faulconer said.

The only major project under construction is a $21 million, 52,000-square-foot cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier, at the foot of the thoroughfare. The two-story landing is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

But the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, a group of activists, has filed a lawsuit arguing that the project is inconsistent with the port district’s master plan.

A San Diego County Superior Court judge has set a September trial date. Coalition lawyer Cory Briggs said he would like a jury to decide the matter.

Leslie FitzGerald, a deputy attorney with the port, accuses the coalition of raising irrelevant issues in court filings, such as the port’s decision to drop the idea of developing a large park next to the pier. Port officials said a park no longer makes sense because it would block vehicle access to and from the pier.

Other projects in the waterfront pipeline:

Lane Field

Location: A 5.7-acre site on the north side of Broadway between Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

Cost: $430 million.

Timetable: Uncertain.

Background: The former site of a storied baseball stadium — back in the Great Depression and into the 1950s — has been on the downtown redevelopment to-do list for decades.

It’s currently a parking lot. Last year, the state Coastal Commission signed off on a port district proposal to develop a hotel complex and 2-acre plaza there.

Construction won’t begin until there is enough financing and regulators approve the plan to lower a part of west Broadway.


Ruocco Park

Location: A 3.3-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

Cost: $6.1 million.

Timetable: Construction is expected to start by early 2011, with completion by early 2012.

Background: The port district is moving to turn a parking lot and the former home of the Harbor Seafood Mart into a getaway spot for downtown office workers, families and others. San Diego artist Roman de Salvo was picked to create artwork for the park.


Navy Broadway Complex

Location: A 14.7-acre site bounded by Broadway, Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive.

Cost: $1.2 billion.

Timetable: Uncertain.

Background: San Diego developer Doug Manchester has a lease with the Navy to build a Navy administration complex, along with hotels, offices and shops, in an area that currently has dilapidated buildings and government-only parking.

Legal challenges and the inability to secure financing have kept the makeover in limbo. Manchester’s longtime wife also filed for divorce last year, prompting speculation that it might further cloud his efforts to finance the development.

Navy officials declined to discuss the project last week, referring questions to Manchester’s development company. Manchester’s spokesman for the project was unavailable.


County waterfront park

Location: Around the County Administration Center, next to Harbor Drive.

Cost: Unknown.

Timetable: Uncertain

Background: The county Board of Supervisors wants to transform most of the parking lot surrounding the building into a park. There would be a 250-space underground parking lot.

A county official said the project is on hold because it lacks funding. Supervisor Ron Roberts hopes to stitch together enough money for the work by year’s end, his spokesman said.


Navy Pier open space

Location: Navy Pier.

Cost: Unknown.

Timetable: A design may be in place by late 2012.

Background: Port officials want to turn the pier next to the USS Midway Museum into a vibrant public attraction. They plan to work with Midway boosters to develop a park or other type of open space on the wind-swept landing.

Waterfront activists say the port had agreed to open a park on the pier sooner than 2012. Port officials dispute that timetable and promise to include the public in the planning process.

http://media.signonsandiego.com/img/...34634cbc5420f3

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2...s-not-on-fast/

Derek Apr 27, 2010 6:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by staplesla (Post 4812983)
Bayfront Projects Stalled

San Diego’s North Embarcadero — the long sweep of bayfront between Lindbergh Field and Seaport Village — has always been a work in progress.

Except right now. There’s not much work and few signs of progress.

That was underscored this month when the California Coastal Commission rejected a San Diego port proposal to build a broad esplanade at the foot of Broadway. Some commissioners chided port officials for not including a large park as part of the project, as was originally envisioned.

To port and city officials, it was a major setback in the effort to revamp the water’s edge. The San Diego Unified Port District now plans to rework its $228 million blueprint for the bayfront, a process expected to take at least two years.

To open-space activists, it was a positive step in their bid to carve out more park land in an area better known for its blocky buildings and pockmarked asphalt.

Other major projects targeted for the North Embarcadero are in limbo because of the weak economy, legal challenges and other issues. They include two blockbusters on Broadway: Lane Field and the Navy Broadway Complex.

Shaun Sumner, a senior asset manager with the port, said the now-stalled North Embarcadero Visionary Plan included public space and road improvements intended to tie the neighborhood together. He said the initial phase of redevelopment would have lowered the elevation of a portion of west Broadway next to Lane Field.

Sumner said he believes the grounding of the plan cheats private developers and the public.

“Public infrastructure is the glue that holds this all together,” he said.

Lane Field developer Jerry Trammer worries that the lack of upgrades will make it even harder to obtain funding for his project.

San Diego Councilman Kevin Faulconer, whose district includes the downtown area, had backed the rejected revamp. He said the city and the port district now have a chance to refine it through extensive public feedback.

“We need to make the waterfront much more people-friendly,” Faulconer said.

The only major project under construction is a $21 million, 52,000-square-foot cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier, at the foot of the thoroughfare. The two-story landing is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

But the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, a group of activists, has filed a lawsuit arguing that the project is inconsistent with the port district’s master plan.

A San Diego County Superior Court judge has set a September trial date. Coalition lawyer Cory Briggs said he would like a jury to decide the matter.

Leslie FitzGerald, a deputy attorney with the port, accuses the coalition of raising irrelevant issues in court filings, such as the port’s decision to drop the idea of developing a large park next to the pier. Port officials said a park no longer makes sense because it would block vehicle access to and from the pier.

Other projects in the waterfront pipeline:

Lane Field

Location: A 5.7-acre site on the north side of Broadway between Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

Cost: $430 million.

Timetable: Uncertain.

Background: The former site of a storied baseball stadium — back in the Great Depression and into the 1950s — has been on the downtown redevelopment to-do list for decades.

It’s currently a parking lot. Last year, the state Coastal Commission signed off on a port district proposal to develop a hotel complex and 2-acre plaza there.

Construction won’t begin until there is enough financing and regulators approve the plan to lower a part of west Broadway.


Ruocco Park

Location: A 3.3-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

Cost: $6.1 million.

Timetable: Construction is expected to start by early 2011, with completion by early 2012.

Background: The port district is moving to turn a parking lot and the former home of the Harbor Seafood Mart into a getaway spot for downtown office workers, families and others. San Diego artist Roman de Salvo was picked to create artwork for the park.


Navy Broadway Complex

Location: A 14.7-acre site bounded by Broadway, Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive.

Cost: $1.2 billion.

Timetable: Uncertain.

Background: San Diego developer Doug Manchester has a lease with the Navy to build a Navy administration complex, along with hotels, offices and shops, in an area that currently has dilapidated buildings and government-only parking.

Legal challenges and the inability to secure financing have kept the makeover in limbo. Manchester’s longtime wife also filed for divorce last year, prompting speculation that it might further cloud his efforts to finance the development.

Navy officials declined to discuss the project last week, referring questions to Manchester’s development company. Manchester’s spokesman for the project was unavailable.


County waterfront park

Location: Around the County Administration Center, next to Harbor Drive.

Cost: Unknown.

Timetable: Uncertain

Background: The county Board of Supervisors wants to transform most of the parking lot surrounding the building into a park. There would be a 250-space underground parking lot.

A county official said the project is on hold because it lacks funding. Supervisor Ron Roberts hopes to stitch together enough money for the work by year’s end, his spokesman said.


Navy Pier open space

Location: Navy Pier.

Cost: Unknown.

Timetable: A design may be in place by late 2012.

Background: Port officials want to turn the pier next to the USS Midway Museum into a vibrant public attraction. They plan to work with Midway boosters to develop a park or other type of open space on the wind-swept landing.

Waterfront activists say the port had agreed to open a park on the pier sooner than 2012. Port officials dispute that timetable and promise to include the public in the planning process.

http://media.signonsandiego.com/img/...34634cbc5420f3

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2...s-not-on-fast/



Big surprise there. :rolleyes:

brantw Apr 28, 2010 10:52 PM

Nooo!!

staplesla Apr 29, 2010 3:11 AM

Input sought for trolley line to UCSD, UTC
 
It may not be long before commuters can take the San Diego Trolley from the Mexican border or Santee all the way to UCSD and University City.

During the month of May, the San Diego Association of Governments is seeking public input at five "project scoping meetings" on plans to extend the trolley line north from the Old Town Trolley Center.

"There's three alternatives that we are taking forward to scoping," said Leslie Blanda, SANDAG Project Development Program Manager. "It's a very high priority for our board. The challenges that lay ahead are pretty straight-forward alternatives."

The 11-mile extension would run north along the existing railroad right-of-ways until reaching UCSD's Gilman Drive, then circle through the campus and back out to the University City area.

Current proposals call for trolley stations at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, University Center Lane, UCSD east and west sites, Executive Drive and a major transit center at University Towne Center.

Blanda said SANDAG hopes the funding will be split between the local voter-approved TransNet Early Action Program and Federal Transit Administration New Starts Fund. The latter funding will be applied for once a final alternative route has been settled upon.

"We believe we will be very competitive for New Starts funding," Blanda said. "We've been very successful in the past."

New Starts funding was received for both the Mission Valley East line and the Sprinter, Blanda said.

To date about $32 million has been spent on the project for planning, preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisition. Total cost is estimated at $1.2 billion, including the cost of railroad right-of-way acquired to date at $20 million.

While much of the route is along existing train routes, some alternatives would require some bridges and tunneling at the north end of the line.

"All the alternatives have some potential to affect the environment," Blanda said, adding that the scoping meetings are part of the process to mitigate those concerns and draft an environmental impact document.

If all goes according to schedule, commuters could be riding the new extension in 2016.

More information on the project is available at www.sandag.org/midcoast.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2...ping-meetings/

http://media.signonsandiego.com/img/...34634cbc5420f3

Public Scoping Meetings:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
SANDAG Board Room (7th Floor)
401 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101
4 to 7 p.m.
Bus stop/Transit stations located at 4th/B St. & 5th Ave. Trolley Station

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Price Center East Ballroom
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
3 to 6 p.m.
Bus stop located at Gilman Dr./Myers Dr. on UCSD campus

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
Garfield Theater
4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
4 to 7 p.m.
Bus stop located at Executive Dr./Regents Rd.

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Clairemont High School Cafeteria
4150 Ute Street, San Diego, CA 92117
4 to 7 p.m.
Bus stop located at Clairemont Dr./Ute Dr.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Caltrans District 11 Office
Garcia Conference Room
4050 Taylor Street, San Diego, CA 92110
4 to 7 p.m.
Bus stop/Transit station located at Taylor St./Juan St. & Old Town Transit Center

HurricaneHugo Apr 29, 2010 5:49 AM

I'm assuming it'll be tunneled as it goes through UCSD?

mongoXZ Apr 29, 2010 5:56 AM

Ya know, I don't like how the proposed routes hook back southward. What if they want to expand north (which they should). Why not have it go east towards UTC and then back north into UCSD?

And also I had no idea the Coaster went that far inland close to Miramar Air Station. How weird.

dl3000 Apr 29, 2010 6:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mongoXZ (Post 4817444)
Ya know, I don't like how the proposed routes hook back southward. What if they want to expand north (which they should). Why not have it go east towards UTC and then back north into UCSD?

And also I had no idea the Coaster went that far inland close to Miramar Air Station. How weird.

Yeah the rails have to cut inland (you can see it under the 805 sometimes) and then come back out in Sorrento Valley. Reason is because the hill University City/UCSD is on is too steep and obviously Santa Fe didn't want to put the money into a tunnel when it was built. Probably a great long term initiative would be to tunnel under University City and cut that loop much shorter. Adds a lot of time to the trip.

And regarding your other question, maybe they want the two UCSD stations consecutive to make it more straightforward to passengers. Just a guess as I totally see your point in questioning the southward hook. I'm thinking if they plan to expand they would go east to Mira Mesa from there.

HurricaneHugo May 1, 2010 2:25 AM

It'll be a long time before it gets expanded again...

brantw May 7, 2010 11:40 PM

There's a new Ace parking lot going in on the corner of Kettner and A st where the old elementary school used to be. It's the biggest project around, aside from the new court house and cruise ship terminal. :(

Derek May 8, 2010 5:47 PM

They tore down a school for a parking lot?

brantw May 8, 2010 11:14 PM

Yes, it was Ace. They've been tearing down our schools! :grrr:

Derek May 9, 2010 8:14 AM

Like for real?? Or did they replace the school and this one was old and abandoned??

IconRPCV May 9, 2010 8:17 AM

It was an old private school that went out of business several years ago and was sitting vacant. It was an issue with the neighborhood because the homeless had turned the facility into their nightly home.

tdavis May 9, 2010 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brantw (Post 4831450)
Yes, it was Ace. They've been tearing down our schools! :grrr:

This was an old private school that closed down years ago, and has been falling down. It needed to be torn down.

bmfarley May 9, 2010 9:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dl3000 (Post 4818127)
Yeah the rails have to cut inland (you can see it under the 805 sometimes) and then come back out in Sorrento Valley. Reason is because the hill University City/UCSD is on is too steep and obviously Santa Fe didn't want to put the money into a tunnel when it was built. Probably a great long term initiative would be to tunnel under University City and cut that loop much shorter. Adds a lot of time to the trip.

And regarding your other question, maybe they want the two UCSD stations consecutive to make it more straightforward to passengers. Just a guess as I totally see your point in questioning the southward hook. I'm thinking if they plan to expand they would go east to Mira Mesa from there.

I would like to see a tunnel through University City for that same reason; to cut down on trip time to San Diego. This would really help the Coaster and Commuters. Others would benefit too; Amtrak and Freight. And, perhaps an undergound station could service UCSD one the west, or the Offices on the east, but probably not both. Of course, it would not hurt if the Coaster operated electrified trains and already had more ridership to justify such a large costly project.

dl3000 May 12, 2010 3:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 4832314)
I would like to see a tunnel through University City for that same reason; to cut down on trip time to San Diego. This would really help the Coaster and Commuters. Others would benefit too; Amtrak and Freight. And, perhaps an undergound station could service UCSD one the west, or the Offices on the east, but probably not both. Of course, it would not hurt if the Coaster operated electrified trains and already had more ridership to justify such a large costly project.

That would be so nice, but alas, we live in a world that is far from ideal. Hopefully the circumstances you mentioned come to fruition some day.

IconRPCV May 12, 2010 8:12 PM

Got transfered to LA so am moving out of SD in August. I have to say my 5 years here have given me mixed feelings about her. SD has so much potential but is so small town minded and backward in many ways. Well I will always be a Charger and Padres fan! Here is hoping I can get anywhere near what I paid for my condo.

SDfan May 13, 2010 12:39 AM

Aw! San Diego will miss you!

bmfarley May 13, 2010 5:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IconRPCV (Post 4836612)
Got transfered to LA so am moving out of SD in August. I have to say my 5 years here have given me mixed feelings about her. SD has so much potential but is so small town minded and backward in many ways. Well I will always be a Charger and Padres fan! Here is hoping I can get anywhere near what I paid for my condo.

I made that leap one year ago. And, I was pleasantly suprised. The folks here are very nice... mostly in Hollywood area. I am now in Pasadena... nice town, but fewer folks. My advice, assuming your work place is near a Metro Rail station, try and locate your new home by one too. Lots of commuters ride them. Metrolink is pretty popular too. And, if you buy near a future station... prices are certain to rise.

brantw May 14, 2010 2:11 AM

MTS to Add a New Trolley Route
 
SAN DIEGO - The Metropolitan Transit System board on Thursday endorsed a route for the proposed Mid-Coast extension of the San Diego Trolley from Old Town to University City.

The board voted unanimously to back the 11-mile "Light Rail Transit Alternative 1" as the preferred route among three analyzed by the San Diego Association of Governments, according to MTS spokesman Rob Schupp.

The path would take the trolley from the Old Town Transit Center along the east side of Interstate 5 to UC San Diego, then east along Voight Drive and Genesee Avenue to University Town Centre.

Eight new stations would be located at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, the west and east sides of UCSD, Executive Drive and UTC Transit Center, according to SANDAG.

"The extension of our trolley system north along the I-5 corridor into one of the most dynamic scientific research, health, academic, commercial and residential areas in San Diego will open up important markets for public transportation to better serve the region," said Harry Mathis, chair of the MTS board.

MTS predicts the new line would generate up to 20,000 daily boardings.

SANDAG, the agency handling the planning for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, is now holding a series of scoping meetings on the proposed trolley extension. MTS runs the San Diego Trolley.

Schupp said today's vote was an opportunity for the MTS board to "weigh in" on which route it believes would generate the greatest ridership and best serve the community.
Funding for New Trolleys


SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Association of Governments was awarded $1.59 million in funding Thursday from Caltrans to be used toward the purchase of 57 light rail vehicles for the San Diego Trolley's Blue Line.

According to Caltrans, the new trolleys will increase light rail capacity and improve service.

The local funding was among $63.3 million Caltrans awarded today for 111 public transit and air quality projects throughout California. The funding comes from Proposition B, a $3.6 billion transportation bond approved by voters in 2006.


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