photo by vicki estrada
Work crews today began demolishing the old Robinsons- May/Planet Hollywood building at Westfield Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego to make room for a new public park.
Officials behind the $14 million project hope to create a 37,000-square-foot civic gathering space that will hold more than 200 events per year…
“This is going to be for our citizens, this is going to be for our tourists, this is going to be for all of us,” Mayor-elect Bob Filner told several hundred people on hand for a special event to mark the beginning of demolition.
Gary Smith, an advocate for downtown residents, said the area’s population has ballooned from 7,000 a couple of decades ago to around 40,000 now, and they need activities.
According to Westfield, which will manage the park and book the events, potential events include concerts, summer movie series, block parties, cultural festivals and holiday celebrations.
The area had been looked upon as a kind of dead zone in the downtown area, used more by the homeless than shoppers. One downtown resident told the City Council last year that the area was an embarrassment.
interview with san diego district 2 councilmember kevin faulconer on kbps, 29.11.12.
sorely needed public space in downtown san diego. balboa park is more like running or cycling distance, the water is a few blocks away.. where you gonna sit and chill and eat your take-out lunch while it’s still hot??
also, my thoughts on why the lack of such a public space was a strong deterrent for the occupy movement in san diego