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Derek Apr 5, 2010 7:49 PM

The only reason they want to "redevelop" it is simply because it is downtown.

ShekelPop Apr 5, 2010 8:49 PM

Its a nice idea simply because downtown could use a little eclectic mix amongst the fairly homogenous gaslamp streets. From what I recall there are a handful of buildings there that have connections to asian immigrants who came to the area in the early part of the last century so there is some connection.

eburress Apr 5, 2010 9:26 PM


Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 4781047)
Just reading on the "asian-district."


You just can't create an ethnic district just like that.

Just redevelop Convoy!

Agreed. It seems like it would be smarter to focus the money on an existing Asian district, rather than trying to create a new one out of nowhere. And no, a few lanterns and one or two buildings does not justify a "district."

bmfarley Apr 6, 2010 2:03 AM

New York Hudson River Park Pier 45... that is what the Broadway Pier should emulate.

OneMetropolis Apr 6, 2010 3:45 AM


Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 4778190)
I thought Manila Mesa was the current "Asia Town".

UCSD would also be a better location.

Mira Mesa isn't called manila mesa for no reason, but. I would think that Linda Vista or Kearney Mesa would be the most prominent Asia town or at least parts of City Height.

mongoXZ Apr 6, 2010 11:50 PM

Port OKs first step of convention center expansion

Video Link

HurricaneHugo Apr 7, 2010 12:44 AM

Wonder how tall that hotel will be.

dl3000 Apr 7, 2010 5:17 AM

Man with bigger conventions, makes me want a bigger airport even more. For me, it all comes down to the airport.

SDfan Apr 7, 2010 11:36 PM

I like the pedestrian bridge idea a lot, and the giant screens connected to it. And are those display lights at the ends of the bridge?

OneMetropolis Apr 8, 2010 3:50 AM

looks impressive. Wonder how they're going to fund it though. Do any of you know? When is ground going to be broken?

spoonman Apr 9, 2010 4:35 AM

Looks like the city is actually thinking big on this class

staplesla Apr 13, 2010 6:47 PM

Battle lines being drawn on bayfront park
The start of a long-awaited, $228 million overhaul of San Diego’s downtown bayfront could hinge on a promise by port officials to create a park years down the line — a pledge that some fear may never be fulfilled.

It will be up to the California Coastal Commission on Wednesday to approve that plan, as recommended by its staff, or seek alternatives.

The San Diego Unified Port District originally envisioned a large, oval park at the foot of Broadway — an idea celebrated by open-space advocates. It now wants to build a paved esplanade, part of which would double as a drop-off and delivery point for cruise ships that anchor at the North Embarcadero.

The issue underscores the tension between the port’s interest in boosting public space and its desire to build up the cruise-ship industry and other maritime business, which would increase the agency’s revenues.

Port officials said they will develop a park at a different, unspecified location along the waterfront. They’re pushing for seven years to complete the project; the commission’s staff wants it done in three.

Diana Lilly, a Coastal Commission planner, said Monday that she could not remember another major development in recent years that the state agency greenlighted on the condition that a key element be added later.

It would take “something of a leap of faith by the commission to do this,” Lilly said.

The port’s leaders said they’re willing to find a replacement site for the park and meet most of the other conditions outlined in a Coastal Commission staff report.

“If the commission wants the park, our intent is to deliver the park,” port spokesman Ronald Powell said.

A coalition of waterfront activists said the agency has reneged on past efforts to add open space on the water’s edge, including at the Navy Pier, home of the USS Midway Museum. They vow to sue the Coastal Commission if it backs the park proposal Wednesday.

“Those conditions are not binding, and the port has a history of making promises and not keeping them,” said Ian Trowbridge, co-chairman of the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition.

Powell disagreed and pointed to open-space improvements and park upgrades by the port in recent years, including those in National City and Imperial Beach.

Port officials said a park at the Navy Pier remains on their to-do list.

Powell said the proposed esplanade, which would include gardens, benches and shaded areas, would be a major attraction worthy of what has long been described as the city’s “front porch.”

Diane Coombs, another leader of the waterfront coalition, believes no other park location would match the grandeur of the prime spot at Broadway and Harbor Drive. “There’s really no way to be able to replace that,” she said.

Lilly recommends the commission require the port to develop an alternate park no smaller than 2.5 acres at one of three locations, including west of Harbor Drive and the County Administration Center.

The port would have two years to complete environmental studies and obtain commission approval for the park, and one more year to build it. If the port fails, it could be found in violation of state law and fined up to $15,000 a day, Lilly said.

“What we’ve tried to do is put in very specific parameters about what the port has to do,” she said. “We really don’t want this thing to drag on.”

Port and city officials are seeking five years for the park’s construction phase.

Lilly said late Monday that she’s willing to consider an extension, but not to five years.

Port leaders also want the Coastal Commission staff to drop a recommendation that the port pay any litigation costs stemming from the project’s approval.

Earlier this year, the commission’s staff opposed the port’s move to eliminate the oval park at Broadway. But during a meeting in February, coastal commissioners asked the staff to try to bridge differences between the agency, port and open-space supporters.

Port staff and members of the waterfront coalition haven’t been able to strike a compromise. Waterfront activists believe the port has negotiated in bad faith; port officials accuse the activists of being fixated on the oval park.

The agency’s officials said a favorable vote Wednesday would clear the way for construction to start by the end of the year.

That work, projected to cost $29 million, would be part of a series of upgrades spelled out in the port’s North Embarcadero Visionary Plan. The overall revamping, which would affect the arc of waterfront property between Lindbergh Field and Seaport Village, has been in the works since 1997.

2SQ Apr 14, 2010 4:34 AM

Progress Continues On Bay Bridge Lighting Project
by David Axelson

Working on what she described as a “Multi-jurisdictional, large, regional project,” would drive most people to distraction, but not Unified Port of San Diego Public Art Director Yvonne Wise. Her assignment is to coordinate the conceptual presentations for lighting the area underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, a project that has been underway in one form or another since 2005.

Wise anticipates that the three design firms bidding on the project will present their conceptual thoughts via 7-10 minute video presentations in June 2010. The eight-person project specific selection panel will make a recommendation to the Port's Board of Commissioners by late summer or early fall of this year. For some added pressure on the applicants, Robert Mosher the original architect of the bridge, is a member of the selection panel.

The bridge lighting concept was created when it became apparent that the 2.12-mile, nearly 42 year old span lost some of its visual impact at night. The top of the bridge is well-lit for traffic in the evening, but basically anything below the traffic area is not visible once the sun sets.

Thus was born the bridge lighting concept and this is where a seemingly simple idea gets complicated. According to Wise, the conceptual plans from the three competing lighting designers must consider green energy to light the bridge; something along the lines of either solar panels or wind turbines. Another element would be for the plan to feature LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, which is low-cost, low energy and considered to be environmentally appropriate.

Just when the bridge lighting project seems doable, other factors creep into the equation. Any lighting elements must be placed on the bridge in a fashion that will not make maintenance on the span any more difficult. The light on the bridge cannot be too bright, so that it won't negatively impact the residential neighborhoods on either side of the span.

That's just the beginning. Wise estimates that approximately 20 organizations need to be consulted regarding the final plans, including the Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration. Since CalTrans owns the bridge and it falls under their jurisdiction, you can imagine they'll want a say in the final design. Oh, by the way you have a budget of between $2 and $3 million to design, fabricate and install lighting on more than two miles of iconic architecture. And the money will come from a combination of grants and private funding.

The good news is that three international design firms are willing to take on the lighting equivalent of the Gordian Knot and all of the three have successfully completed major public art projects of this type. Peter Fink has created the lighting design for the Canary Wharf Tower in London, where his firm is based.

The Bideau Company from France has completed projects throughout Europe, including theaters and cathedrals in Arras, France and the concert hall in Tours, France. In 1986 the firm won the contract to light the Eiffel Tower in Paris. That last project would have to be considered an attention grabber on any resume.

Finally a group consisting of Ned Kahn, Patrick McInerney and the Arup Design Team are forming a group to submit a design. The members individually have worked on the Ushibuka Bridge in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan and the De Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

The Port's role in the short term process is pretty straight forward, according to Wise. “This portion of the project, which is to just identify the one team, costs $50,000 and is fully funded by the Port. Currently we're just in the conceptual phase. We issued an international request for qualifications for teams who could do a project of this scale. Then will come the feasibility phase and we'll work with a lot of different agencies to be sure it can be constructed. There are no color requirements. It is up to the teams to propose what makes sense.”

The process for financing the project is somewhat more ethereal. “The Port may be involved in funding,” Wise said. “The Port could be involved, perhaps in the fund raising efforts. We're not sure what the Port's role is. We don't know if CalTrans will take control. Those issues will be flushed out with a few more meetings. The project is moving forward. We're getting the logistics coordinated. No doubt it will be an exciting summer for us.”

Presentations by the lighting design firms will be held in both San Diego and Coronado. Dates and venues for the concept video presentations are expected to be confirmed by the Port District in the next several weeks.

ShekelPop Apr 14, 2010 6:28 AM

[QUOTE=staplesla;4793395]The start of a long-awaited, $228 million overhaul of San Diego’s downtown bayfront could hinge on a promise by port officials to create a park years down the line — a pledge that some fear may never be fulfilled....]

I'm not sure how I feel about these conflicting interests. I really wanted park space/plaza space there but on the other hand, I want the cruise terminal to be efficient and robust enough to accommodate the ships. You'd assume the Port overstates their need for truck space because that's their primary concern, and a park is not so immobile as to render the space completely unusable for future cruise terminal needs. I don't see a difference really as to whether that space starts as a park or as a paved esplanade since either one could be adapted into other uses later on. Just so long as the project gets under way, I'm for it.

IconRPCV Apr 14, 2010 6:02 PM

God, either proposal is a million times better than the crap that is there presently. If and when this and the Lane Field development get finished this will be a great asset to the city.

Remeber the County Admin Center was going to make parks out of their parking lots; any word on that project?

SDfan Apr 15, 2010 2:22 AM

^^ I heard they were still moving forward with that project.

As for the oval park, I'm not usually so anti-port, but wtf? They already screwed up the south embarcedero, you would think they would try a little harder not to disgruntle an already bay-front sensetive population. If this had been the Navy Broadway Complex, I would be less upset, develop all you want there, but this is actually, literally, THE gateway of the city.

staplesla Apr 15, 2010 4:32 AM

Coastal panel rejects proposed S.D. waterfront revamp
The state Coastal Commission late Wednesday rejected the first phase of a long-planned, $228 million overhaul of the downtown waterfront, saying it would cheat the public of prime park space. The decision is a crushing setback for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and port officials.

The panel deadlocked 5-5, one vote short of what was needed to allow construction to go forward.

The commissioner who might have tipped the project in the port’s favor recused himself. Pat Kruer of La Jolla, who had been an enthusiastic supporter of the revamp, announced before the hearing in Ventura that he would not participate to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Kruer’s brother has business ties with the port.

Kruer could not be reached by phone or e-mail Wednesday night.

The San Diego Unified Port District began developing the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan 12 years ago, saying it would revitalize the bayfront and turn an asphalt corridor along Harbor Drive into a gleaming showcase of open space and maritime activities.

“I’m disappointed by the Coastal Commission’s action today, which will delay for several years — if not longer — a project that would greatly enhance public enjoyment of our downtown waterfront,” Sanders said in a statement Wednesday night. “While I’m disappointed, I’m hopeful that the plan can be modified and ultimately approved in some fashion.”

Irene McCormack, an assistant vice president with the San Diego Unified Port District, said her agency’s executives will meet with city officials to explore their options, including possibly seeking an amendment to the port master plan that might allow the overhaul to go forward.

That also would require Coastal Commission approval and could take as long as two years.

Another option, McCormack said, is to drop the redevelopment project entirely. But after years of planning and study, she said, “Is that what the port and the city want to do? No.”

Critics of the first phase blamed the port for last night’s vote, saying it was rooted in the agency’s decision to drop plans to include a large, oval park at the foot of Broadway at Harbor. Port officials said there was no room for the oval and instead proposed building a broad, paved esplanade that would double as a pickup and drop-off point for cruise ships.

Open-space activist Ian Trowbridge said the loss of the oval park — and the port’s insistence that it be kept out — seemed to seal the proposal’s fate.

“This is a sad day for the people of San Diego because the port, through its intransigence, failed to come up with a project that could go forward,” he said.

Coastal Commissioner Sara Wan of Malibu said the project failed to meet open-space requirements laid out in the port’s plan for the North Embarcadero.

“It’s not the shape of the park that’s the issue,” she said. “It’s the size and location.”

Colleague Richard Bloom of Santa Monica disagreed, saying the initial phase would have been a valuable and scenic addition.

Port officials rebutted claims that improvements to the nearby cruise-ship terminal forced them to drop the oval-park concept. Because of the terminal, public access to parts of the esplanade would be limited at times.

Port executives said they were willing to abide by one compromise that would have allowed the project to go forward if the agency promised to build a comparable park elsewhere on the bayfront.

“We are eager and willing to comply,” port President Charles Wurster said before the vote. “We believe the North Embarcadero will become a significant place of enjoyment for children and adults.”

During a lengthy hearing, Trowbridge said the commission should not accept the port district’s assurances that a replacement park would be built, saying the agency “has a long history of duplicity and broken promises.”

At a commission meeting in February, the state panel directed its staff to meet with the port and its critics to try to bridge differences.

Subsequent talks — formal and informal — proved fruitless: port officials said their critics were fixated on the oval park; critics said the port negotiated in bad faith.

Commission planner Diana Lilly said the recommendation to allow a replacement park to be built represented her office’s attempt to forge a middle path, even if some didn’t see it that way.

The state agency had suggested three potential park sites: between Navy Pier and the Navy’s buildings on Broadway; west of the landmark County Administration Center and Harbor Drive; and Lane Field, northeast of Broadway and Harbor, where the port plans to develop a hotel complex.

The North Embarcadero is a 1.2-mile stretch that runs from Lindbergh Field to Seaport Village.

The initial phase of construction would have included the installation of formal gardens along the esplanade, along with benches, artwork and low-energy lighting. Later phases would include pier and wharf improvements.

Kruer, the commissioner from La Jolla, recused himself after a newspaper story reported that a company run by Kruer’s brother, Jonathan, is helping to plan the first-phase project.

The Port District and Centre City Development Corp. — the city of San Diego’s redevelopment arm — have paid Jonathan Kruer’s business $78,150 for its work, as part of a total contract worth $92,250.

Pat Kruer had expressed support for the first-phase plan when it came before the commission in February. The commission’s staff members said Kruer didn’t know then that his brother was part of the project.

CoastersBolts Apr 15, 2010 5:14 AM

Can someone remind me of what purpose the Coastal Commission serves for projects such as this that seem to be exclusive to cities? What a joke.

tdavis Apr 15, 2010 5:34 AM

I have mixed feelings. The 5-5 vote means everything is stalled for now which I hate, but I also feel San Diegans should receive what was originally promised. And if changes are to be made, they need to be done in a fashion that are comparable to the original intent. San Diegans, especially those living downtown, should have the open space.

kpexpress Apr 15, 2010 6:14 PM

Couple projects to be reviewed tonight.....777 Beech, and the Little Italy Fire Station.

What are you thoughts?

777 Beech:

Fire Station #2:

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