Tuesday, February 14, 2012
A permit needed by the developer of the Fat City Lofts to build his 232-unit apartment complex near Lindbergh Field was denied today by the Centre City Development Corp. chairman.
Kim John Kilkenny said the lofts are inconsistent with city plans for the area and could threaten the economic viability of the adjacent Solar Turbines, Inc., which has been at the sames location for more than 80 years under various names. It was founded in 1929 as Prudden-San Diego Airplane Co., but now makes natural-gas-fired turbines primarily for generating electricity and has been owned by Caterpillar Inc. since 1981.
"The construction of a residential project close to Solar Turbines would result in increased regulatory burdens which may jeopardize Solar Turbines' continued operations," Kilkenny said in a statement.
His decision can be appealed to the city's Planning Commission by developer Jonathan Segal, but not to the City Council. Segal could not be immediately reached for comment.
Segal told City News Service last month that other residential developments were nearby. If necessary, he said he would go to court to fight for the project.
The board of the downtown development agency last month approved the Fat City design, which was judged a good fit with pink Art Deco-style building where the lofts were planned. The building, once a nightclub, was later a restaurant run by businessman Tom Fat, but it is now vacant.
The decision on whether to give Segal a coastal development permit—not to be confused with a permit from the California Coastal Commission—was up to Kilkenny.