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keg92101 Jul 24, 2008 1:22 AM

Has anyone here ever been to Portland to Gerding's work?

Fantastic! Their philosophy as a "green" builder is proven by their work in Portland.

http://www.gerdingedlen.com/index.php

keg92101 Jul 24, 2008 3:33 AM

There is no comparison. If Gerding Elden isn't selected, then the system really is fixed.

http://www.ccdc.com/index.cfm/fuseac...pmentproposals

Proposals are downloadable on the above site!

bmfarley Jul 24, 2008 4:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by keg92101 (Post 3691262)
There is no comparison. If Gerding Elden isn't selected, then the system really is fixed.

http://www.ccdc.com/index.cfm/fuseac...pmentproposals

Proposals are downloadable on the above site!

Thanks for the link. I searched earlier at CCDC... couldn't find anything.

I just downloading the Gerding Plan and am reviewing some of the details. First impression I want to share, it appears it make effecient use of the available verticle limitations. It is approximately 458 feet above ground level; which is already approximately 40 feet above the mean tide level. All told, the top touches 498 feet above the tide level.

Hopefullly the dimensions are clear on this illustration copied from the proposal.

Gerding C Street facade
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n...CStFacade1.jpg

All in all, I prefer Gerding, but I'd be satisfied with either design at this point. Although, the Hines plan could look dated after 20 years... just like the current Civic Center.

SDCAL Jul 24, 2008 4:57 AM

Wow, Fusey thanks for posting more images

I am REALLY liking the Gerding plan

It's been too long since I've seen a proposal I am this excited about

I agree with Keg, if that is not selected there is something terribly wrong

The Hines building looks like it was just stuck there like a temporary trailer or something. It is also far out of scale for the location

The Gerding plan on the otherhand looks like a true iconic piece of architecture our city can be proud of. The fact that it would be city hall is also very important, it could actually become a symbol of our city

The MUST pick it

Is the decision up to CCDC? I am going to write them a letter asking them to please pick it and others who agree should do the same, they need to hear from the public that we don't want them to pick crap and pass-up this fantastic opportunity for a great piece of architecture

bmfarley Jul 24, 2008 5:12 AM

I just finished looking over the Hines plan.

I wish there was something more relevant to look at... the proposal is kinda light on the presentation of proposal. Additionally, from what I could tell, it seems as if they came up with a plan that is trying to 'hide' in downtown San Diego.

Nothing really screams that this is a Civic Center. A Center of public work and decision making. If a passerby asked where City Hall was... they couldn't locate it.

HurricaneHugo Jul 24, 2008 11:07 AM

that is beautiful...

*tear*

sandiegodweller Jul 24, 2008 2:44 PM

Focus on the attainable
 
The Gerding Elden project makes a very pretty picture. A portrait of it will look good next to the renderings of imaginary new library and the make believe planned Federal Courthouse.

Hines made it clear in their presentation that the City is not in a position to build a grand new civic monument. I am sure that they could have come up with some cutting edge plans if they really thought that there was money to get it built. The only reason for this exercise is to see if it is more cost effective to replace the existing complex with a new one.

bmfarley Jul 24, 2008 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 3691948)
The Gerding Elden project makes a very pretty picture. A portrait of it will look good next to the renderings of imaginary new library and the make believe planned Federal Courthouse.

Hines made it clear in their presentation that the City is not in a position to build a grand new civic monument. I am sure that they could have come up with some cutting edge plans if they really thought that there was money to get it built....

If the process to replace the Civic Center moves forward, it's a bit late for Hines to go back and do a do-over. Or claim mulligan.

If the process does not stumble, it seems there are two clear and distinct directions to take. One is 'place setting' and become location of civic pride for the city and its citizens. That's Gerding's Plan. Another is diminutive, fits in with existing activities, it hides, and gets lost. In a sense, some could say that it resembles the current state of affairs in city politics. That's the Hines Plan.

Ironically, Hines is local while Gerding is from elsewhere. A selection of the Gerding Plan could resemble more than a change in physical direction for the city.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 3691948)
...The only reason for this exercise is to see if it is more cost effective to replace the existing complex with a new one.

Neither proposal included the financials for us noobs to critique. They would have been interesting to look at. With that said, I believe the Hines plan did not include leasable and mixed-use spaces. That would represent lost revenue to the city. But, you're saying the whole thing was for show? That neither Hines or Gerding would be selected and that was known from the beginning? Seems like conspiracy thinking to me.

SDCAL Jul 24, 2008 6:59 PM

[QUOTE=sandiegodweller;3691948]
Hines made it clear in their presentation that the City is not in a position to build a grand new civic monument. QUOTE]

So, a developer should be lecturing our city on what we can and cannot build?

Hines can kiss my ass - I find it insulting that they think San Diego is worthy only of a city hall that in their own admission is reserved and cheap.

Any two-bit architect could have come up with the grotesque square office building they shitted out. It looks like a pathetic afterthought.

DO WE REALLY WANT TO PERMANENTLY IMMORTALIZE THIS PERIOD OF FINANCIAL DISPAIR IN OUR CITY HALL? In 25 years people could pass by the Hines-designed eyesore and comment, "oh that was from earlier this decade, you know when the city was poor, corrupt and backwards"

Gerding was able to take finances and state-of-the-art green principles and still create an iconic plan worthy of our city's government nucleus

I don't see the point of building crap that needs to be re-built every 20 years or so when it becomes outdated and space constricted

The financial details have not even been released yet and you are implying the Gerding project as "unattainable"?

I don't think the financial sources of the library and city hall are identicle either

This is not some random office tower or condo tower we are talking about, it's our city hall - it could apper in city websites and other areas that people all over the world view. This WILL be a symbol of our city and will send a message of if we want to be looked at as a progressive, dynamic city of the future or a repressive, uncreative relic of the past

I realize the financial situation is bleak now, but I don't think skimping on a new city hall is the right move. We will regret it in years to come

SDCAL Jul 24, 2008 7:03 PM

If you look on the UT site you can see comments on the proposals;

you really do get a sense of NIMBYism in San Diego by how many people, like some even on this blog, are claiming the finances don't make sense when they haven't even been released yet.

I am not saying we aren't in a financial mess, but I believe NIMBYs cling to and overblow financial issues in order to further their cause of simply not wanting downtown to develop

If it wasn't finances, I guarantee it would be something else they would be clinging to in their arguments.

keg92101 Jul 24, 2008 7:03 PM

[QUOTE=SDCAL;3692583]
Quote:

Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 3691948)
Hines made it clear in their presentation that the City is not in a position to build a grand new civic monument. QUOTE]

So, a developer should be lecturing our city on what it can and cannot build?

I don't see the point of building crap that needs to be re-built every 20 years or so when it becomes outdated and space constricted

The financial details have not even been released yet and you are implying the Gerding project as "unattainable"?

I don't think the financial sources of the library and city hall are identicle either

This is not some random office tower or condo tower we are talking about, it's our city hall. This WILL be a symbol of our city and will send a message of if we want to be looked at as a progressive, dynamic city of the future or a repressive, uncreative relic of the past

I realize the financial situation is bleak now, but I don't think skimping on a new city hall is the right move. We will regret it in years to come

There will not be any new spending by the city. Will this project cost less to fund through a bond + private investment then what the city curently pays in rent + what they will have to pay to bring the curent buildings up to code. GE builds self sustaining buildings, which are cost savings to the city.

sandiegodweller Jul 24, 2008 9:11 PM

[QUOTE=SDCAL;3692583]
Quote:

Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 3691948)
Hines made it clear in their presentation that the City is not in a position to build a grand new civic monument. QUOTE]

So, a developer should be lecturing our city on what we can and cannot build?

Hines can kiss my ass - I find it insulting that they think San Diego is worthy only of a city hall that in their own admission is reserved and cheap.

Any two-bit architect could have come up with the grotesque square office building they shitted out. It looks like a pathetic afterthought.

DO WE REALLY WANT TO PERMANENTLY IMMORTALIZE THIS PERIOD OF FINANCIAL DISPAIR IN OUR CITY HALL? In 25 years people could pass by the Hines-designed eyesore and comment, "oh that was from earlier this decade, you know when the city was poor, corrupt and backwards"

Gerding was able to take finances and state-of-the-art green principles and still create an iconic plan worthy of our city's government nucleus

I don't see the point of building crap that needs to be re-built every 20 years or so when it becomes outdated and space constricted

The financial details have not even been released yet and you are implying the Gerding project as "unattainable"?

I don't think the financial sources of the library and city hall are identicle either

This is not some random office tower or condo tower we are talking about, it's our city hall - it could apper in city websites and other areas that people all over the world view. This WILL be a symbol of our city and will send a message of if we want to be looked at as a progressive, dynamic city of the future or a repressive, uncreative relic of the past

I realize the financial situation is bleak now, but I don't think skimping on a new city hall is the right move. We will regret it in years to come


Do you understand the dynamics of this RFP? The City requested proposals from qualified developers to build a new civic center. The private developers will develop the buildings and the city will occupy them. Of course the developer can tell the City what they can and cannot build, it is all dependent on the amount of rent that the City will pay.

If the City was in any decent financial shape, they could build the Tah Majal themselves. Since they are technically bankrupt (they owe more than they are worth) and cannot borrow money, they have to rely on public/private partnerships and they get what they can afford.

If the GE design is financially feasible, great. If not, the City can go with Hines or wait until they get their shit together.

Did you notice that only 4 or 5 developers actually responded to the RFP (and no other big ones besides Hines)? They all know that the the client (City) is broke and they didn't waste their time. If this was at all profitable, you would have had a much more enthusiastic audience.

sandiegodweller Jul 24, 2008 10:25 PM

Does anyone else hear circus music in the background?
 
Nancy Graham Resigns


Nancy Graham, the president and chief operating officer of the Centre City Development Corp., the city's downtown redevelopment arm, has resigned effective immediately, a source close to the organization said.

"She will never come back into the office. That information has been communicated to her board. It has been communicated to certain council members, not all," the source said.

Graham has been on leave in Tennessee, caring for her mother, who has been ill. "She has reassessed her life and priorities and says her first priority is the care of her mother," the source said.

Graham has come under scrutiny lately for her changing story about her involvement in the negotiations with the developer of a $409 million downtown skyscraper. She was a former business partner with a sister company of Related of California, the developer, and met with the company during the deal's negotiation process, despite saying she was not involved.

The source said the series of voiceofsandiego.org stories highlighting Graham's relationship to the developer were not the primary reason for her departure. "While I do not think it is directly related, it was part of her consideration because she just didn’t want to have to deal with these issues any more," the source said.

Graham's resignation comes less than 24 hours after Carolyn Y. Smith, the president of the city's other nonprofit redevelopment arm, Southeastern Economic Development Corp., was fired by her board of directors following a voiceofsandiego.org investigation that revealed a clandestine system of bonuses paid to SEDC employees.



-- ROB DAVIS

bmfarley Jul 24, 2008 11:16 PM

^^^
Being the chief of CCDC is not easy. Nancy inherited projects from her predessor that were not the easiest to navigate through. Ie... Pedestrian Bridge over Harbor Drive, NBC project, Downtown/Regional Library, Downtown Quiet Zone, and C Street Master Plan. Downtown is extremely busy and not easy!!!

Fusey Jul 25, 2008 12:11 AM

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/m...1m24civic.html

Quote:

Competing visions vie for City Hall

City will hear comment on the plans at nine meetings
By Jeanette Steele
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

July 24, 2008

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO – Two developers vying to rebuild San Diego's City Hall heard one thing loud and clear from the public: People want a more open city government.

So when the two firms unveiled their proposals yesterday, there was a common thread – transparency.

Both plans enclose the City Council chamber in glass and place it at or near the ground floor. It's a pronounced change from the current, 1960s-era City Hall, where the council meets on the 12th floor of a 13-story building and the mayor's office is one floor below.

Otherwise, the proposals offer two starkly different views on how to overhaul the four-block Civic Center.

One offers a 500-foot iconic saillike building with wind turbines at the top and about 2 million square feet of private development on the surrounding blocks. The complex would generate some of its own energy from wind and solar panels.

The other: Virtually no private development, focusing instead on a new 19-story city office building and a four-story glass City Hall with a public patio on top.

The smaller development firm, Gerding Edlen of Portland, is proposing the grander scale. Spokesman Tom Cody says his company thinks the mix of private offices, housing and a hotel can be viable if it is built over seven to 12 years.

“This is really about vibrancy. How can we take this anchor of the city, this linchpin, and leverage it into a larger, more meaningful district,” Cody said.

International giant Hines Corp., based in Houston, is billing its plan as the more conservative, low-risk bet for a city still struggling with its finances.

“It provides the city with the most certainty. They know what their costs are going to be,” said Paul Twardowski of Hines. “The city should not be entering risky ventures right now. The city should be taking conservative approaches.”

Both developers say they can save the city money, as a consultant has projected that it will cost $1 billion over the next 50 years to run the current city buildings and continue to lease private office space for the overflow of public workers.

Hines and Gerding say their proposals will cost less than that, but no financial details were released yesterday. Those will come in about two weeks, according to the Centre City Development Corp., the nonprofit city agency overseeing the process.

The general structure of each deal was revealed. The Hines scenario involves the city keeping ownership of its land but leasing the new buildings from a financing company, possibly Hines, for 30 years.

In Gerding's version, a nonprofit group could buy the land and the city would lease the civic building from it. Or, if the city wants to keep ownership, the new City Hall could be paid for through tax-exempt financing.

One big difference in the two plans: Treatment of C Street, the rundown trolley corridor that downtown officials have wanted to spruce up for years.

In the Hines proposal, City Hall faces toward B Street with a grassy public plaza in front. C Street would get some shops along the back of the building. Hines' Twardowski said he thinks that's a good fit.

“The charge from CCDC was to activate and stimulate C Street. We think you don't do that by pulling buildings away and having a vast plaza that is not really comfortable to be in,” he said.

Gerding took the opposite approach. Its civic tower and plaza face C Street, meaning they will get better light and embrace the transit system there, Gerding executives said.

More than 3,200 city employees now work in 1 million square feet spread across eight downtown buildings, four of which the city owns.

City officials want to demolish the city-owned towers and build enough office space to house all downtown city workers there.

Mayor Jerry Sanders has said the project won't move forward if it costs the city more than the existing leases and maintenance would cost.
Quote:

Gerding Edlen
* 2.8 million square feet of new development, including a 1 million-square-foot civic building, 695 apartments, 16 stores including a grocery market and up to four levels of underground parking

* On-site treatment plant to reclaim building's water

* B Street reopened to cars; Second Avenue reopened between A and B streets

* Public “porch” atop stand-alone pavilion housing City Council chambers

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/m...langerding.jpg

Hines
* City office building, 600,000 square feet; City Hall, 115,000 square feet. Only private development proposed is small retail shops because Hines feels downtown market won't support anything more.

* City “Commons”: landscaped plaza and pavilion with cafe

* Renovated parking structure at current site

* B Street reopened to cars between First and Third avenues

http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/9...anhinesks6.jpg

malsponger Jul 25, 2008 2:59 AM

What exactly does this project entail? Is it just the construction of new buildings or actually redoing the old ones as well?

The civic center buildings are absolutely hideous. Putting one new building in and a plaza won't change much. I hope they actually renovate the old buildings.

SF is doing this:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3162/...cb1bb8bf_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3241/...c792421d_b.jpg

keg92101 Jul 25, 2008 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by malsponger (Post 3693525)
What exactly does this project entail? Is it just the construction of new buildings or actually redoing the old ones as well?

The civic center buildings are absolutely hideous. Putting one new building in and a plaza won't change much. I hope they actually renovate the old buildings.

SF is doing this:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3162/...cb1bb8bf_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3241/...c792421d_b.jpg

Are you serious? Look at the GED proposal. It is phased with all new buildings, LEED Platinum for City Hall, and LEED Gold for the rest.

bmfarley Jul 26, 2008 1:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by keg92101 (Post 3695233)
"...LEED Platinum for City Hall, and LEED Gold for the rest."

Is that a bad thing? Is that an issue? I honestly don't know. However, I am not concerned about the City taking a lead role in developing sustainable buildings. And, if they do, it sets a precidence for developers to do the same. No?

sandiegodweller Jul 26, 2008 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 3695347)
Is that a bad thing? Is that an issue? I honestly don't know. However, I am not concerned about the City taking a lead role in developing sustainable buildings. And, if they do, it sets a precedence for developers to do the same. No?


I think the comment referred to the site plan. Both proposals would demolish all of the existing structures and rebuild new ones. No rehab.

The City is not taking a lead role in developing sustainable buildings, they are merely the tenant (and potential land owner).

LEED certification is a noble endeavor. The initial building costs will be higher (and more difficult to finance) and rents will need to be adjusted to pay for it but the long term cost savings should be measurable.

bmfarley Jul 26, 2008 6:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 3695531)
I think the comment referred to the site plan. Both proposals would demolish all of the existing structures and rebuild new ones. No rehab.

The City is not taking a lead role in developing sustainable buildings, they are merely the tenant (and potential land owner).

LEED certification is a noble endeavor. The initial building costs will be higher (and more difficult to finance) and rents will need to be adjusted to pay for it but the long term cost savings should be measurable.

I'd concur. fwiw.


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