Urban Park Coming To San Diego
The core of downtown San Diego could be getting a makeover. An urban park meant to revitalize the Horton Plaza area is moving forward.
Downtown residents have long called for more parks in the area. Now a project in the heart of downtown is going ahead. The San Diego City Council unanimously gave initial approval to a proposal to create a park in front of Horton Plaza on Broadway. Councilman Kevin Faulconer is backing the project.
“Horton Plaza is a gem that’s lost its luster. Today we have the ability to restore that luster,” he said.
The one acre park is projected to be complete by 2014. It will be managed for 25 years by the Westfield company which operates the Horton Plaza mall. San Diego will pay Westfield about $26 million for the land and the demolition of an old department store building that’s currently on the site. In turn Westfield will pay off $35 million it owes to the city’s Redevelopment Agency.
The company says it will put on more than 200 community events a year at the park. Councilman David Alvarez wants it to be a park for all San Diegans.
“I do hope that there are a lot of efforts to make sure that the events that take place at this facility are available to residents from throughout San Diego of all income levels,” Alvarez said.
The project will come back to council in 2012 for final design approval.
While the city council was considering the Horton Plaza park, the Port of San Diego was making progress on the long stalled first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan. The Port approved a plan that provides more public park space near the water front, something Port critics have been lobbing for. However, the project may still be appealed to the Costal Commission.