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Marina_Guy Dec 24, 2008 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 3991132)
I feel for you. I agree too. I happen to know that plans are in place to retrofit each of the stations from Old Town into downtown and along the Bay Side all the way to the backside to the 12th & Imperial Trolley Station. The retrofit will raise the platforms a bit so that the new low floor cars can serve them; specifically for the wheelchair ramps so that the incline is within ADA requirements for slope. Once that is complete, the Green Line will be extended from Old Town into downtown.

It could happen in phases.... 1st to Santa Fe Depot and then along Bayside. When that happens, the Blue Line would be pulled back to Santa Fe Depot and not run up to Old Town. And the Orange Line would be pulled back to America Plaza... or possible end also at Santa Fe Depot. It could keep it's current pattern, but then that would mean unnecessary service along Bayside and possibly put too many trains in a single track at 12th & Imperial.

Obviously some details remain to be worked out.... lack of track/platform space at Santa Fe Depot prevents all three lines serving the station without additional improvements there. And, scheduling and possibly safety affect the Orange Line laying over at America Plaza for extended times when the Blue Line would run through it. Both Blue and Orange could possible terminate at America Plaza, but a compromise would be a transfer with a walk across Kettner to get from Santa Fe Depot to America Plaza.

Some of this could begin in the next couple years at the earliest. MTS plans to first focus on rehabilitating the line down to San Ysidro... which is terribly bumpy and in need of improvement. It needs new road bed, rail and catenary. The stations need work too.

Concerning better headways.... I also happen to know that the regional Transportation Plan depicts headways improving on all the Trolley lines.... some lines see it earlier than others. It's demand based.... b/c as we know, running more trains costs more money. And, although the Trolley gets a good share of its operating revenue from fares, a lot of public subsidy is still needed to operate the system. And, where is that suppose to come from if there isn't any available.

That said, when additional capacity is needed the Trolley/MTS first look at adding a train car onto existing trains. That's cheaper and does not require a schedule change. It can also be done on the fly, for the most part, but running more cars does cost more too.

It's pertinent to know that the Trolley network is extremely complicated, despite what it looks like on a map. Some line segments can only handle a limited number of trains in each direction each hour.... like minimum or closest headways. The downtown C Street and Park corridor is one... 4 minutes between trains is the best that can be practically scheduled... now trains average 5 minute spacing at peak times (Blue & Orange lines together). From Old Town to Santa Fe Depot signals permit trains running as close as 5 minutes.., now at peak times trains run as close as 7-8 minutes. From downtown to San Ysidro... the best is 7 minutes... but the rehab work may include signal improvements that would improve that capability.

Another, because the Orange Line terminates at the Gillespie Field Station and occupy valuable track space while the train operator switches ends of the train, and the network configuration with scheduling parameters elsewhere... the best headway that can be practically scheduled on the Green Line is a train every 15 minutes. A siding off the mainline for the Orange Line to terminate at would provide more scheduling flexibility... and I think at El Cajon would be the best location for that to occur.

Thanks for the information. It was very informative. I really like the trolley and would use it more and I know others would if the Old Town situation improved and the time between trains was shorter. That is what I really like about other big cities.. transit is easy to use and you don't really have to wait. I would like to see SANDAG allocate more $$$ to the trolley and less the concrete freeways, but it seems San Diegans want more freeways and don't care as much about mass transportation.

Marina_Guy Dec 24, 2008 2:37 PM

Borders
 
I heard that the Borders will be closing Downtown. Sad to see. Retail remains a very challenging thing for Downtown and this horrible economic climate is not going to help much.

kpexpress Dec 24, 2008 8:09 PM

Borders is leaving? That sucks so bad, I love that place. I always see the place packed though; where did you hear this?

ACE Hardware is going in across the street though, so that's good.

Marina_Guy Dec 24, 2008 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpexpress (Post 3992215)
Borders is leaving? That sucks so bad, I love that place. I always see the place packed though; where did you hear this?

ACE Hardware is going in across the street though, so that's good.

Two very reliable sources. They are looking for someone to sub-lease the space...

keg92101 Dec 26, 2008 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marina_Guy (Post 3992486)
Two very reliable sources. They are looking for someone to sub-lease the space...

Hasn't Border's been closing stores across the country?

Marina_Guy Dec 26, 2008 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by keg92101 (Post 3994030)
Hasn't Border's been closing stores across the country?

Yep. In fact they closing their store on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

This will be a horrible year for retail.

sandiegodweller Dec 27, 2008 4:47 PM

Luxury hotel opening in peanut-butter-and-jelly times

Sé San Diego rooms start at $500 a night

By Jeanette Steele and Helen Gao, staff writers
2:00 a.m. December 27, 2008

Can you “Sé” tough timing?
The owners of Sé San Diego are opening a $500-a-night luxury hotel – which claims the West Coast's biggest penthouse at $20,000 per night – in an economy more amenable to Motel 6.
“If you were looking for the perfect place and time, it's not the most ideal,” said David Peckinpaugh, chief executive of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Sé is counting on the “wow” factor to draw people to the new 23-story building downtown, on Fifth Avenue next to the House of Blues. The 184-room hotel is museum-like, starting with the 9,000-pound bronze entrance door.
The hotel debuts tomorrow, after a somewhat troubled history. It underwent two name changes, one at the last minute.
First advertised as the Diegan and then The Setai, the name was shortened to Sé this month by the Newport Beach-based owner after a legal battle with the Setai hoteliers in Miami Beach and New York.
Sé is Chinese for color, look or appearance.
The rooms are sumptuous, with Brazilian walnut flooring and dinner-plate-sized shower heads in the bathrooms. The Grand Penthouse occupies three floors and boasts a chef's kitchen, six flat-screen televisions and a panoramic-view rooftop patio.
In the lobby and restaurant, called Suite and Tender, nearly every surface is covered with an unusual material. The registration desk and bar front are upholstered in stingray skin from Thailand.
“This is a sophisticated, worldly experience,” said Tohnia Miller, director of sales and marketing. “That's the type of travelers we are trying to bring to San Diego. You would pick up this hotel and put it in London or Hong Kong.”
The $150 million resort follows a string of luxury accommodations opening around San Diego County, some in better times.
Downtown already has The Ivy, Hard Rock Hotel and the renovated U.S. Grant. North County boasts Doug Manchester's Grand Del Mar resort and the revamped L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa.
Bob Kaplan, senior managing director of PKF Capital in Los Angeles and an expert in hospitality brokerage, said Sé is not alone in the luxury sector in opening in an economic downturn.
“I don't think you have any choice,” he said. “You have a lot of money at risk. Both equity and debt are already invested. You are not going to let it go dark just because you hit the market at the wrong time.”
Casino mogul Steve Wynn this month opened Encore, a 2,034-suite resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The Resort at Pelican Hill, spread over 504 acres of hillsides with ocean views, opened in November in Newport Beach with a mix of villas and bungalow suites.
The hotel industry has been struggling like much of the economy. Overnight visits to San Diego were down 2 percent in 2008, according to a recent ConVis report. Next year's outlook is worse: A 5 percent downturn is predicted.
In November, hotel occupancy rates in San Diego sank to 57.9 percent, a drop of 18.8 percentage points from the same month last year, according to Smith Travel Research.
Jerry Morrison, a La Jolla hotel consultant, said upper-end hotels are hit harder than the industry as a whole because of their room rates. In November, he said, occupancy in the luxury market was down 15 percent from the previous November nationwide, compared with 10.6 percent across the industry.
“People are reluctant to be gaudy in this economy. Everyone is trying to be much more conservative and not show they are throwing money around,” he said.
For a startup such as Sé, Morrison said, making it will be difficult because, unlike more established hotels, they can't count on an existing clientele. And because it's being advertised as high-end, he said, it can't afford to cut corners.
“If you are trying to hold yourself out as a five-star hotel, and you deliver the service of a three-star hotel, it's extremely difficult for that hotel to ever come back when the economy turns,” Morrison said.
Thomas Voss, an executive who oversees the Grand Del Mar, said reservations are up slightly from last year. The resort offers two presidential suites that go for $5,500 per night. Both were occupied yesterday, he said.
Voss welcomes the addition of Sé to the region. “That means more luxury travelers will come to San Diego and have good choices,” he said.
Stefan Lorch, director of rooms at the W Hotel in Little Italy, also said additional luxury offerings help the market mature and compete with other regions.
The W, whose rates range from the low $200s to about $3,000 per night, is nearly booked for New Year's Eve, he said. “I think we are doing very well considering the economy,” he said.
At Sé, Miller said the hotel has staffed in anticipation of a slow start but is optimistic that business will pick up in February and recover by the end of 2009.
The basic room goes for $500 a night. Suites start at $750 nightly. And the really swanky “luxe” suites will put guests back at least $1,500 a night.
As it gears up, and in deference to the economy, Sé is offering lower introductory rates. That basic room goes for $229 right now.
The Fifth Avenue property was supposed to be the West Coast flagship for the Setai brand, until the legal trouble between developer Steve Rebeil and the Setai Group.
Rebeil, who is no stranger to lawsuits as a home builder and casino developer in Las Vegas, was getting a tour of the property on Christmas Eve with his family but didn't want to comment for this story.
A condo component of Sé hasn't taken off yet. Of 20 residential units, only a few have sold, Miller said. The buyers have been wealthy people from Mexico.
Still, Peckinpaugh said things will probably work out for the Sés and the Ivys of San Diego's hotel world.
“These are long-term investments,” the ConVis executive said. “This market, while we're struggling right now like everybody, it is a very healthy meetings, convention and leisure market. We will recover.”
Jeanette Steele: (619) 293-1030; jen.steele@uniontrib.com

lakegz Dec 27, 2008 5:18 PM

I don't like these fancy 'boutique' hotels opening up everywhere in S.D. They seem to be the exact opposite of what San Diego had always been about. People come to San Diego for family vacations, to go to Sea World, the zoo, to enjoy the weather, to go to the beach, take trips to mexico. It doesn't strike me at all as this smooth world traveller-stay in a 500 dollar a night room type of place. Or maybe that stuff seems like an utter waste of money in a town so laid back and family friendly as San Diego has always been.

staplesla Dec 27, 2008 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakegz (Post 3994996)
I don't like these fancy 'boutique' hotels opening up everywhere in S.D. They seem to be the exact opposite of what San Diego had always been about. People come to San Diego for family vacations, to go to Sea World, the zoo, to enjoy the weather, to go to the beach, take trips to mexico. It doesn't strike me at all as this smooth world traveller-stay in a 500 dollar a night room type of place. Or maybe that stuff seems like an utter waste of money in a town so laid back and family friendly as San Diego has always been.

I think it is a good thing. We need a diverse economy bringing in all sorts of people, not just families looking to go to the beach or Sea World.

IconRPCV Dec 27, 2008 8:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakegz (Post 3994996)
I don't like these fancy 'boutique' hotels opening up everywhere in S.D. They seem to be the exact opposite of what San Diego had always been about. People come to San Diego for family vacations, to go to Sea World, the zoo, to enjoy the weather, to go to the beach, take trips to mexico. It doesn't strike me at all as this smooth world traveller-stay in a 500 dollar a night room type of place. Or maybe that stuff seems like an utter waste of money in a town so laid back and family friendly as San Diego has always been.

There is so much more to SD than laid back beachcombers and families. You should come see for yourself.

HurricaneHugo Dec 27, 2008 11:23 PM

So I was shopping at Ross downtown the other day (hey, low prices!) and noticed two things.

1. There was a "CVS Pharmacy coming Jan 2009" sign across the street. What was there before? Hopefully it helps out C Street a bit.

2. Just noticed that the Bank of America building is on stilts, fat stilts, but stilts nonetheless.

bmfarley Dec 28, 2008 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 3995377)
So I was shopping at Ross downtown the other day (hey, low prices!) and noticed two things.

1. There was a "CVS Pharmacy coming Jan 2009" sign across the street. What was there before? Hopefully it helps out C Street a bit.

Call me biased if you may, but C Street is looking pretty nice the past couple years. I walk it Monday through Friday. Between 7th Avenue and about 1st Avenue.... it seems there is a fantastic vibe there relative than 4+ years ago. What's changed are only a handful of things... more/replaced trash bins, more security (cameras and officers), House of Blues, repainted Trolley cars, Ross, etc. It's all turned a better light on the street and it sems more attractive and active than before.

SDCAL Dec 28, 2008 1:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by staplesla (Post 3995134)
I think it is a good thing. We need a diverse economy bringing in all sorts of people, not just families looking to go to the beach or Sea World.

I agree with you. The problem with "family hotels" that cater to parents bringing their kids to sea world or lego land is that they are often about as aesthetically pleasing as the disgusting blue holiday inns near the bayfront.

I am curious to see what Hotel Indigo is like when that opens - it doesn't look too high end, kind of like a more budget friendly boutique?

SDCAL Dec 28, 2008 1:53 AM

The Nolan?????
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 3995377)
So I was shopping at Ross downtown the other day (hey, low prices!) and noticed two things.

1. There was a "CVS Pharmacy coming Jan 2009" sign across the street. What was there before? Hopefully it helps out C Street a bit.

2. Just noticed that the Bank of America building is on stilts, fat stilts, but stilts nonetheless.


Speaking of pharmacies, in East Village, across from M2i, Rite Aid has advertised "coming soon" for like a year now, wonder if anything is happening with that?

Also, TR produce does advertise a market coming, but I'm not sure what name/brand it will be. anyone know?

Lastly, does anyone know if The Nolan has been haulted? I posted this question a few weeks ago but didn't get any insight. This looked like a cool, narrow OFFICE tower and it seemed to be going full steam ahead this summer with a makeshift sidewalk, a sign advertising the project, and ground work going on.

For the last few months, however, it has remained a big hole, no work being done, and the sign taken away :(:(

SDCAL Dec 28, 2008 2:03 AM

Library
 
If I had to pick one project to get off the ground in 2009, it would be the main library

The latest I've heard is this:

There is a 31-Dec deadline to move forward or risk losing a $20 m grant from the state for the library

The project looked to be about impossible until library officials came up with the idea of putting a high school in it. This would mean the remaining money needed to proceed would come from a school bond that was voted into approval in November

State offcials apparently like the idea, but nothing official has been decided. The school board must vote on it and then the city council (which is bad news as they are all clammering to get media attention as the most "frugal" councilperson)

In the mean time, library officials are trying to get an extension on the grant

It would be such a shame if San Diego were to lose this $20 mil grant specifically for the purpose of the library.

If we lose it, there is nothing earmarking the funds for our community. It could easily go to a cool library project in LA, SF, Sac or somewhere else in CA

Jerry Sanders is a visioneless piece of crap. He was a strong advocate of the library, and when the economy soured he said the project was "likely dead"

Library officials had to work around him and the do-nothing douches in city hall to come up with this idea with the school board. Now Sanders says it sounds "interesting"

How are we ever going to get anything done in this town with such wishy-washy leadership. We need people with vision, imagination, creativity and determination, not these finiky wastes of space

The new main library has been a planned icon for years now, and it looks like it's coming down to "do or die" very soon

I think whether or not this project gets off the ground in 2009 will be a true indicator of just how doomed we are on the development front and on any chance of SD becoming even close to a world-class city in our lifetimes!

HurricaneHugo Dec 28, 2008 4:24 AM

I don't know if there's a need for a high school in that area with SD High half a mile away. Either way, it's a good idea to help keep the library alive. Hopefully they get the extension for the grant which I think they will. I think the only obstacle would be the city council...

HurricaneHugo Dec 28, 2008 4:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 3995416)
Call me biased if you may, but C Street is looking pretty nice the past couple years. I walk it Monday through Friday. Between 7th Avenue and about 1st Avenue.... it seems there is a fantastic vibe there relative than 4+ years ago. What's changed are only a handful of things... more/replaced trash bins, more security (cameras and officers), House of Blues, repainted Trolley cars, Ross, etc. It's all turned a better light on the street and it sems more attractive and active than before.

Between 7th and 1st?

There's nothing west of 4th...

kpexpress Dec 28, 2008 7:58 AM

I love the idea of making the library into a multi-purpose building, but maybe not a high school. I think that an elementary is more needed in the East Village than any other type of school. And no better place to put it, the East Village has traditionally been known as the arts district, but no-a-days education is taking over....City COllege, SDHS, Newschool, Art Institute, Thomas Jefferson, etc. It's great!

Marina_Guy Dec 28, 2008 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDCAL (Post 3995545)
If I had to pick one project to get off the ground in 2009, it would be the main library

The latest I've heard is this:

There is a 31-Dec deadline to move forward or risk losing a $20 m grant from the state for the library

The project looked to be about impossible until library officials came up with the idea of putting a high school in it. This would mean the remaining money needed to proceed would come from a school bond that was voted into approval in November

State offcials apparently like the idea, but nothing official has been decided. The school board must vote on it and then the city council (which is bad news as they are all clammering to get media attention as the most "frugal" councilperson)

In the mean time, library officials are trying to get an extension on the grant

It would be such a shame if San Diego were to lose this $20 mil grant specifically for the purpose of the library.

If we lose it, there is nothing earmarking the funds for our community. It could easily go to a cool library project in LA, SF, Sac or somewhere else in CA

Jerry Sanders is a visioneless piece of crap. He was a strong advocate of the library, and when the economy soured he said the project was "likely dead"

Library officials had to work around him and the do-nothing douches in city hall to come up with this idea with the school board. Now Sanders says it sounds "interesting"

How are we ever going to get anything done in this town with such wishy-washy leadership. We need people with vision, imagination, creativity and determination, not these finiky wastes of space

The new main library has been a planned icon for years now, and it looks like it's coming down to "do or die" very soon

I think whether or not this project gets off the ground in 2009 will be a true indicator of just how doomed we are on the development front and on any chance of SD becoming even close to a world-class city in our lifetimes!

Run for public office. Nobody else seems interested in bringing vision. Maybe you can. This is a city of lost opportunities. Someone needs to step up.

Marina_Guy Dec 28, 2008 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDCAL (Post 3995531)
Speaking of pharmacies, in East Village, across from M2i, Rite Aid has advertised "coming soon" for like a year now, wonder if anything is happening with that?

Also, TR produce does advertise a market coming, but I'm not sure what name/brand it will be. anyone know?

Lastly, does anyone know if The Nolan has been haulted? I posted this question a few weeks ago but didn't get any insight. This looked like a cool, narrow OFFICE tower and it seemed to be going full steam ahead this summer with a makeshift sidewalk, a sign advertising the project, and ground work going on.

For the last few months, however, it has remained a big hole, no work being done, and the sign taken away :(:(

The TR Produce Market is supposed to be a Walmart concept store designed to compete with Fresh and Easy and Trader Joes. The Walmart guy has been making the rounds at public meetings. Seems the Police don't want to sign off on their liquor license.

I heard the Nolan was dead. Same developer who stopped work of the 'Chicago Title Office Condos Building?' right near 'Dis-ad-Vantage Point'. Lots of rebar gardens in the city now. That is sad. Don't these people have to post bonds so the City can clean them up if they fail?

Don't know anything about the Rite-Aid.


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