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Silverado Ballroom In City Heights Reopens Following Renovation

Photo by Andrew Bowen

The Silverado Ballroom in City Heights is pictured, Feb. 17, 2016.

The Silverado Ballroom, shown here in 1948, was a dance hall and hosted country music stars such as Kitty Wells.

Aired 2/18/16 on KPBS News.

City and community leaders Wednesday celebrated the grand reopening of the 85-year-old Silverado Ballroom in City Heights, which was renovated in part with loans from the city of San Diego.

City and community leaders Wednesday celebrated the grand reopening of the 85-year-old Silverado Ballroom in City Heights, which was renovated in part with loans from the city of San Diego.

First opened in the 1930s at University and Euclid avenues, the art deco building was a site for community gatherings, dances and musical performances.

Most of the restoration was funded by a $1.38 million city redevelopment loan and $81,000 from the city's Small Business Revolving Loan Fund.

Property owner David Chau invested about $160,000 in the project, one of several being readied when the state abolished redevelopment agencies in 2011, when Chau was just a few weeks away from starting the work.

"The community has been looking forward to the new restaurant and event space since work began," said Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who represents the area. "There is no doubt that this will help spark and inspire more projects in this part of the district."

Work included the rehabilitation of the exterior of the building and second floor ballroom; tenant improvements on the first floor; installation of an elevator for accessibility for disabled residents; new paving and hardscape; and structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades.

Architect Richard Bundy said he stuck with the project, even after retiring.

“Not only because of my loyalty to the owner, David Chau, but also to the neighborhood and to this particular complex of buildings," he said. "More than any other project that I may have ever worked on, this is a project that happened because the community wanted it.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the restoration was "a great example of how we're investing in our city's neighborhoods and supporting San Diego's rich culture."

KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen contributed to this report.

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