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mongoXZ Feb 8, 2011 9:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mello (Post 5156329)

And Tommaso you are right, I just came from living in Crown Heights Brooklyn for 2 years and the only way to get that lively energy is to have massive density for sq. mile after sq. mile. I've noticed that downtown SD is still very quite for how "built up" it now seems. I'm guessing that many of the new condo towers and 5 to 7 floor buildings near Petco and just east of it are not at full vacancy.

Another huge problem is the empty retail spaces at the bottom of all the new residential buildings. I was walking by the park just outside of center field at Petco and my god all of the ground floor spaces in those new squat buildings are empty. Commercial real estate signs everywhere! It was like an empty Disney Land, all these nice shiny modern or reused old structures with empty bottoms and 2nd floors :( And many of these buildings have been finished for a couple of years.

C'mon now, comparing a newly developed area of downtown SD with Brooklyn areas that are more than a century old isn't fair don't you think? If anything San Diego is headed in the right direction despite the recent recession getting in the way. By 2020 I think East Village and adjacent areas will be as vibrant as the Core and Gaslamp District. The demand and interest is there in the long term.

Has anyone here been to Atlanta? I was there for a little convention last December (unfortunately) and while it was nice and clean in most areas that I saw, Atlanta's downtown SUCKED. Talk about dead! Now there's a downtown that needs a makeover. CNN studios tour anyone? :haha:

I suspect many of you guys don't realize how good we got it here compared to other downtowns in the US.

mello Feb 9, 2011 2:09 AM

Mongo, I wasn't comparing just stating the kind of density that it will eventually take to make downtown SD vibrant for say a 10 block by 10 block area. One other thing I wanted to bring up and maybe Tommaso could answer is the vibrant shopping destinations in downtown LA for latinos. You see those blocks in the old core of LA packed with Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorians etc. shopping.

How come you don't see anything like this in San Diego. Do people just go shop in Mexico instead? How come low income Angelino's (maybe not all low income) go shopping in the downtown core? Is it just that they have more of a critical mass... Or do people here in SD just go to Mission Valley mall or other "Power Centers" with Marshals, Ross, etc. But of course the LA area has these places as well. Anyone notice what I'm talking about when you see those LA threads???

spoonman Feb 9, 2011 4:42 AM

Commercial rents are too high in most of dt SD for those "bargain" shops you are speaking of.

tommaso Feb 9, 2011 5:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spoonman (Post 5157308)
Commercial rents are too high in most of dt SD for those "bargain" shops you are speaking of.

That may be true, but DTLA is the center of an 18 million person metro area. That's only second to NYC's 21 million. Chicago's is only 10 million. While SD is 3 million. DTLA will always be vibrant from that standpoint and the services at the ground floor retail street level will continue to transform and transition into more mainstream services in the central parts of DTLA. That has already happened in dozens and well over 100 cases/commercial leases for ground floor retail/restaurants in DTLA. But, DTLA can be as vibrant as it is because it is the center of activity for so many businesses and trades and that will only grow exponentially by 2020.

I can't speak for how DTSD will address its retail woes. But, I did have an enjoyable experience finding many interesting shops in SD's downtown, shops that we don't have in DTLA. Well, LA is just an exciting place to be when you know what you are doing and where to go. But, there are many trade offs when comparing DTLA to DTSD.

Number one, DTSD has some very safe and clean parts with nice retail and restaurants, only it doesn't feel like the center of a major cosmopolitan city. DTLA can feel like the center of a major cosmopolitan city, but it can be very dirty and even dangerous at times. That being said, there is so much great modern architecture in DTSD that we have yet to see in DTLA.

Despite the developments in South Park and LA Live, we still have work to do. And this decade will prove that DTLA is a true urban center with the arrival of Gensler's Farmer's Field/LA Convention Center development, the street car, multiple subway lines coming to completion, Wilshire Grand and so many more developments.

I know that I was recently critical of southern California's low quality faux Mediterranean real estate developments. And I want to clarify that I have witnessed extraordinarily beautiful nouveau Mediterranean residential developments in Beverly Hills and in the LA metro area. When the developer really spends the money on great architecture and great construction materials, we can witness a gracious beauty. I am all for that. But, I cannot turn a blind eye to the countless examples of failed faux Mediterranean architecture and we know that these developments can really affect the character of our cities and neighborhoods. I don't have a clear cut brick or glass bias. But, when the architecture is recycled cookie cutter garbage, I almost prefer it be made out of brick and not have any plants or landscaping because that only accentuates the poor architecture rather than cover it up.

kpexpress Feb 9, 2011 8:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tommaso (Post 5155986)
http://media.signonsandiego.com/img/...c82dae770b93ac

These buildings do look very stumpy, but you must take what you can get in San Diego. The city isn't built up enough to the point where the citizens can force the city to build taller buildings even throughout its downtown. S.D. is far from reaching that point. I don't care how visionary the politicians are. It would take an incredible effort to get most central downtown plots of land to consistently build 20 to 40+ story towers.

I've seen the central parts of DTSD. It can get eerily quiet on most city blocks and there's no way around that problem. It would take another 2 real estate construction booms and another 20 to 40 towers in the central part of DTSD to get a real downtown medium/high energy bustling feel.

Even downtown S.F. often lacks that energy, and S.F. laws are to blame for that problem. It is incredibly difficult to develop high rises in S.F. and so you end up with a downtown and a city that lack the energy that only the addition of 50 to 100 20+ story residential towers in the central parts could create.

You want energy and activity, then you need hundreds and thousands of people stacked on top of one another in a concentrated area and there's no other way around that. S.D. has grown leaps and bounds in that area over the past 10 years. Now, it will be interesting to see if S.D. takes more steps to becoming a serious downtown in this decade leading up to 2020.

I wish we could get BIG to do a proposal for the Navy Broadway Pier Development. That would get this community thinking....

http://www.archdaily.com/109832/a-big-new-york-debut/

kpexpress Feb 9, 2011 8:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spoonman (Post 5157308)
Commercial rents are too high in most of dt SD for those "bargain" shops you are speaking of.

It baffles me that these developers have the cash to sit on a vacant space without cutting the prices on these leases. Can't the city do something to incentivize these developers to fill the spaces at a more reasonable rate? I know a guy who had a business on 10th ave between Island and J st. He shut his store down cause the landlord wouldn't adjust the lease, despite his newly moved in neighbor leasing the exact same space for half the price. As if filling these spaces to provide amenities for prospective condo buyers wasn't incentive enough to fill them at a more adequate price. I'm not one to advocate for raising taxes in a recession, but has anyone ever thought of a vacancy tax? Has this ever been used in other cities? I mean if they can afford to sit on an empty space, I'm sure they'd pay extra to keep it empty if that's what they want.

mello Feb 9, 2011 5:18 PM

Completely agree with you Kex. The empty retail space situation in all of the new buildings is such a drag on the downtown neighborhoods. The concept of having the amenities there to attract buyers and renters seems like such a no brainer....

Tommaso -- Remember DTLA is not the only player in the "Vastly improving their downtown sweepstakes". Keep in mind DTSD has one thing DTLA can never have and that is a waterfront. And in the coming years that waterfront will be greatly enhanced and have many acres of new parkland added to it.

DTSD will also be getting its very own "Farmers Field" (what a nice name for Southern California) Trust me no one on the San Diego city council current or future will want to be a part of the group who "Let the Chargers leave town to the hated giant up North" that would be political suicide.

So add in a new NFL stadium and an expanded convention center with a rooftop green park for DTSD. Then you also have the new Library under construction and the Lane Field development at the foot of Broadway along with the Navy Broadway Complex and by 2020 we will have made just as many positive steps in improving this downtown as DTLA will have done. :cheers:

SDfan Feb 10, 2011 1:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mello (Post 5157871)

DTSD will also be getting its very own "Farmers Field" (what a nice name for Southern California) Trust me no one on the San Diego city council current or future will want to be a part of the group who "Let the Chargers leave town to the hated giant up North" that would be political suicide.

So add in a new NFL stadium and an expanded convention center with a rooftop green park for DTSD. Then you also have the new Library under construction and the Lane Field development at the foot of Broadway along with the Navy Broadway Complex and by 2020 we will have made just as many positive steps in improving this downtown as DTLA will have done. :cheers:

I have to disagree, I think there is enough political pushback for the downtown stadium not to happen. I mean its an easy argument to simply say "why should you, who are struggling to make ends meet earning maybe 50K a year help subsidize a stadium for a multi-billion dollar industry."

Essentially, the tax payer is being asked to build a new home for a wealthy corporate monopoly. I can see half the city voting no on any initiative. And you can expect their city council representatives to side with them on this issue.

I know I won't agree to have the city pay upwards of $500,000,000 to the NFL. Sorry, but hell no.

mello Feb 10, 2011 3:01 AM

I just think some how some way a stadium is going to get built somewhere in the County. And who said it would have to go to a public vote? Maybe Spanos could sell a portion of the team or find other investors. Anyhow if it doesn't happen here I don't think Farmerville will happen in LA either because they will need public money as well.

And remember SDfan if done properly (in conjunction with the convention center) a new state of the art stadium is not just for the Chargers. It would help facilitate events taking place at the CC, be home to SDSU football, 2 College Bowl Games, and if we get creative a slew of other events and possibly a MLS team. So I think it is a little shortsighted to say it is "simply a new home for the Chargers.

I don't want to hijack this thread with stadium talk. So how bout that Broadway Pier Park? Looks nice and the UT said funding is there! Woohoo.

HurricaneHugo Feb 10, 2011 6:54 AM

Maybe I'll check out the Broadway Pier on saturday to see the 100 years of Navy Aviation celebration. :)

Lipani Feb 10, 2011 9:24 PM

Quote:

C Street improvements scuttled
CCDC says $100 million plan can't be implemented until after 2017
By Roger Showley
Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.

C Street, one of downtown's storied corridors but now one of its sorriest-looking stretches, won't be getting a makeover anytime soon, downtown redevelopment planners say.

A $100 million program was developed to realign the trolley tracks, rebuild the streets and sidewalks and beautify the street from City College to India Street.

But at its budget planning meeting Wednesday, the Center City Development Corp. staff said it would be 2017, if then, before the major upgrades can take place.

"Currently, without federal (transit funding) sources available, it's very hard to finance," said CCDC planner Sachin Kalbag.
Rest of UT article here.

Miklo Velka Feb 11, 2011 4:00 AM

Quote:

C Street improvements scuttled
CCDC says $100 million plan can't be implemented until after 2017
Well That's too bad.
I'm glad that they are going to change the embarcadero though. It's such a shame that a city with such a beautiful bay and waterfront only have parking lots as a place to hang in front of the sea in downtown. What makes all cities close to the sea attractive is that they are close and i think that investors should focus on downtown some more. That kind of "promenade" along the sea is a must and can expand the downtown's range, activities, make more attractive. Look at Miami, NY, ...The waterfront should be the place to hang out in DT and not horton plaza. There is not even a park close to the sea. The area is too much dependent on car transportation but the success of a great and lively downtown is easy access to place and transportation. I mean I really like downtown and stuff but when I go down there I go to Horton plaza walk a couple of blocks and go home. So much potential don't you think? It's still a great city tho.:cheers:

laguna Feb 12, 2011 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miklo Velka (Post 5160460)
Well That's too bad.
I'm glad that they are going to change the embarcadero though. It's such a shame that a city with such a beautiful bay and waterfront only have parking lots as a place to hang in front of the sea in downtown. What makes all cities close to the sea attractive is that they are close and i think that investors should focus on downtown some more. That kind of "promenade" along the sea is a must and can expand the downtown's range, activities, make more attractive. Look at Miami, NY, ...The waterfront should be the place to hang out in DT and not horton plaza. There is not even a park close to the sea. The area is too much dependent on car transportation but the success of a great and lively downtown is easy access to place and transportation. I mean I really like downtown and stuff but when I go down there I go to Horton plaza walk a couple of blocks and go home. So much potential don't you think? It's still a great city tho.:cheers:

I ride my bike and walk, never using my car in the downtown. What is stopping you?

There are parks between the Mariott boat docks and Seaport Village, lots of grass and trees with views of Coronado and right on the water. Get a map and explore a bit.

We could always use more parks near the water-as long as the bums can be kept from taking them over.

Miklo Velka Feb 12, 2011 2:58 AM

Quote:

I ride my bike and walk, never using my car in the downtown. What is stopping you?
There are parks between the Mariott boat docks and Seaport Village, lots of grass and trees with views of Coronado and right on the water. Get a map and explore a bit.
We could always use more parks near the water-as long as the bums can be kept from taking them over.
I know which places you are reffering too, and honestly I think it's not enough. I mean "Seaport Village"? come on it's not that great, it's unlively to my opininon. But it's not my point. My point is you need a real boardwalk like this :
http://www.photos-voyage.com/photos/nice-17.jpg
Where people can hang out, a real economic center, with bars and park etc, to relocate the purpose of downtown close to the sea. The gap between downtown and the sea front is too big.
No comment for the bums, I think they have the right to hang out where they want to, even if it scorches your sensitive and precious eyes...:notacrook:

HurricaneHugo Feb 15, 2011 8:50 PM

Anybody have good pictures of the Stennis Air Wing fly over San Diego?

HurricaneHugo Feb 16, 2011 7:22 PM

This interesting study ranks the LA-SD high speed rail corridor as the "top ranking outside the NE corridor."

http://www.america2050.org/pdf/HSR-i...-Southwest.pdf

Interesting that it scores higher than the LA-SF corridor.

Lipani Feb 16, 2011 8:13 PM

Borders is closing downtown. Hurray for more empty retail?

XtremeDave Feb 16, 2011 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 5167357)
This interesting study ranks the LA-SD high speed rail corridor as the "top ranking outside the NE corridor."

http://www.america2050.org/pdf/HSR-i...-Southwest.pdf

Interesting that it scores higher than the LA-SF corridor.

Judging by the fact that the Pacific Surfliner is Amtrak's busiest line outside the NE corridor it doesnt surprise me at all that LA-SD ranks that high for a HSR corridor. I've been on that train many times when its almost impossible to find a seat.

It would be great to see the existing LOSSAN corridor upgraded to provide faster service in the near future, since the California HSR wont be extended to San Diego before 2030.

Derek Feb 17, 2011 6:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lipani (Post 5167439)
Borders is closing downtown. Hurray for more empty retail?

Wow, well that sucks. :(

laguna Feb 18, 2011 5:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miklo Velka (Post 5161723)
I know which places you are reffering too, and honestly I think it's not enough. I mean "Seaport Village"? come on it's not that great, it's unlively to my opininon. But it's not my point. My point is you need a real boardwalk like this :
http://www.photos-voyage.com/photos/nice-17.jpg
Where people can hang out, a real economic center, with bars and park etc, to relocate the purpose of downtown close to the sea. The gap between downtown and the sea front is too big.
No comment for the bums, I think they have the right to hang out where they want to, even if it scorches your sensitive and precious eyes...:notacrook:

I was responding to your 'there are no parks close to the water'. Now you are talking promenade? OK

Bums certainly give a lively charm to an area. LOL
Have a nice time panhandling.


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