San Diego Nonprofit Tries Again To Spruce Up Southeastern San Diego
The nonprofit Urban Collaborative Project tried to create a community gathering space last year on a small strip of land at Euclid and Imperial avenues in the Encanto neighborhood. But their efforts came to a halt when the city made them take down benches and planter boxes they had made because they didn't have permits.
Now Barry Pollard, the head of the nonprofit, is trying again to fix up a vacant lot at Imperial Avenue and 50th Street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The lot was left empty when the Valencia Park Library was knocked down.
This land belongs to Civic San Diego, the city-owned nonprofit that oversees development in downtown and southeastern San Diego.
Civic San Diego could eventually sell the land, but in the meantime Pollard would like to turn the lot into an event space for performances, art shows and even boxing. A similar arrangement was made in the Quartyard space in San Diego's East Village.
Pollard said Lincoln Park doesn't have many places for residents to get together.
"It's a gathering place that they will help design that will hopefully involve children's activities, art activities, entertainment," he said.
He's working with Civic San Diego on his plans and will start by asking the city for special events permits.
In the meantime, local artists are painting a mural on one of the lot's walls. It features some of the neighborhood’s old hotspots, including Huffman's Barbeque and St. Rita’s Church.
Artists Michael Rosenblatt, Francisco Contreras, JoeNathan Segura and Nadia Contreras designed the mural, and Rosenblatt is the lead artist on the project.