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Will The Arts Save The Embarcadero?

Growth as a civic venue for arts and culture would contribute to the quality of life and sustainability of downtown and should be encouraged on the Embarcadero. The broadcast would have been more accurate if it pointed out that the original North Embarcadero 1998 plan was a visioning process (design firm of Sasaki).It estimated all costs at $58 million and did not consider property constraints which later necessitated changes to the plan. Wanting to move ahead with a buildable design, the agencies hired Ehrenkrantz Eckstudt & Kuhn (New York's Battery Park City and Baltimore Inner Harbor) and funded the actual design. Many public workshops over several years led to the schematic design being jointly approved by the Port and CCDC. Civitas/PDC is handling the working drawings. A number of internationally renowned firms have participated in the refinement of this project.The original Plan adopted by the Port, City, CCDC, County and Navy states that the design of the foot of Broadway must provide for support to water side Port operations and the EIR/PMPA assumes building coverage of one story on the entire pier. With regards to Navy Pier, the Port's agreement with the Midway says the Port will plan a park- it's wrong to state that the Coastal Commission mandated the Port to build it. The Midway is working on ideas. The Port needs to obtain an EIR and Master Plan Amendment to obtain Coastal's approval on the Pier redevelopment. There are a lot of half-truths being promulgated by people who did not participate in the original plan or the schematic design workshops. There was never a commitment on the size of the open space at the foot of Broadway and the plan is out of scale because it was meant to provide visionary guidance for development. The community shouldn't tolerate people coming late to the process to derail what could have been a magnificent public space for all San Diegans to enjoy at no cost.It's easy to sit back and be revisionist when it's not costing you anything. This project is a gift to San Diego and giving a voice to its detractors hurts everyone. At the end the detractors are continuing to look at a parking lot and a sea of asphalt.

June 18, 2010 at 6:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )