Barrio Logan is little known to most San Diegans – beyond being a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood near downtown. Yet it is one of San Diego’s most historically significant and culturally important neighborhoods.
An important bit of misinformation has been circulating about Measure C – the Spanos ballot referendum to raise the hotel tax (transient occupancy tax – “TOT”) in the City of San Diego from 12.5% to 16.5% to build a $2 billion-plus downtown combined stadium and convention annex. Most news stories and conventional wisdom have it that 2/3 of the city’s voters must vote in favor of it in order for it to pass. While some of these articles acknowledge that there is a potential second path to passing Measure C via litigation, it is mentioned only as something that is remote, uncertain, and difficult. As a result, some opponents of the measure have had a somewhat lackadaisical attitude. The hoteliers in particular have remained relatively silent. This circumstance is surprising given the potential impact on the demand for hotel rooms from the rate increase and the hoteliers’ opposition to a non-contiguous convention facility expansion. [Read more…] about Why Spanos is only trying for a >50% vote to get a downtown stadium.
It’s Parking Day 2016 San Diego! Parklets are all over downtown and elsewhere. It happens on the third Friday of September every year (note to calendar).
“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego? Please call and ask him.” That was the headline in an ad Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, ran this past week targeting 2nd year City Council member Chris Cate, who is on the leadership committee of the No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First! coalition. [Read more…] about Why does Dean Spanos hate the homeless?
The following text and images comprise the East Village Draft Focus Plan released on July 30, 2016, including subsequent minor corrections and additions made by its authors. It has been reconstituted here from the PDF original version to enable web and mobile viewing (there are formatting variations from the original). To view a gallery of images, or view any image in its full size, click directly on the image. The original version may be downloaded from this PDF link (warning: downloading PDF may require high capacity broadband connection).
Sure, we’ve all heard about Tesla’s amazing performance but for those who are shopping for a more bread and butter economical work horse, the logic for purchasing a pure electric (excluding hybrids) vehicle may not be readily apparent. You may be thinking “what do I do for those long road trips requiring a mid-trip recharge” and “I’m not ready to pay a premium to help curb climate change.” Actually, there are many practical reasons to buy an electric vehicle that have nothing to do with being an environmental hero. These reasons portend an imminent and rapid global conversion from gas to electric powered cars. Below are some of the practical advantages of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). [Read more…] about Reasons to buy an electric vehicle that have nothing to do with the environment (and which portend an imminent and rapid global shift to electric vehicles)
Downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza Park expansion opened last week . . . more or less. Construction is not quite complete. San Diego’s downtown (at least post-WWII downtown) has thus far lacked a vibrant town square like San Francisco’s Union Square or similar successful plazas in other major cities. This major expansion of the small historic plaza is intended to fill the bill. The design team for Horton Plaza Park included Walker Macy | Landscape Architecture, the same firm that designed Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. Features include cafe-style tables and chairs, amphitheater-style steps / bleachers, and pillars / obelisks that double as lighting for events. There’s a Starbucks, Sloan’s Ice Cream, Arts Tix Kiosk, and a yet to be named vendor all built into the park. [Read more…] about Is San Diego’s Horton Plaza Park Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square 2.0?
On the subject of a potential downtown San Diego East Village NFL stadium, some proponents have asserted that Indianapolis’s downtown Lucas Oil Stadium was a catalyst for redevelopment and revitalization. I recalled that Walter Scott Chambers III, urban planning wonk and owner of the blog Great Streets San Diego, had moved to Indianapolis. Ironically, his last article in that wonderful but now-dormant blog, was entitled 5 Key Indicators That Your City Is Not A World Class City. Number 4 of the 5 was “It has a Civic Center, a Sports Multi-Complex, an Arts District, an Entertainment District (any or all of the these).” Anyway, I reached out to him by email to see what he thought of the use of Lucas Oil Stadium as a shining example of an NFL stadium catalyst for downtown revitalization (nevermind that East Village is already “revitalizing” at boom-times speed without another stadium). Here’s what Walt said, sans the niceties at the beginning and the end of his email: [Read more…] about Is Indianapolis a good comparison for a San Diego Charger downtown stadium?
Not long ago, the future was looking pretty dire for the Hotel Churchill in downtown San Diego (9th & C). It sat vacant and neglected, with its redevelopment uncertain. Along came the San Diego Housing Commission and Housing Development Partners of San Diego (HDP), which in addition to providing housing to some very vulnerable people, has also been one of the City’s leading saviors of historic properties. The historic Mason Hotel on Fifth Ave. and A St. in downtown San Diego was another property recently restored by the Housing Commission and HDP. [Read more…] about The new historic Hotel Churchill unveiled