The San Diego City Council on November 13 unanimously approved authorization to “advertise, bid, award, and construct” the multimillion-dollar Horton Plaza Improvement Project. The council acted in its role as the successor agency to the defunct San Diego Redevelopment Agency.
Mark Caro, senior planner and landscape architect at Civic San Diego, said in his presentation they should have completed drawings by “the end of the year,” and then bids can go out. Civic San Diego (formerly the Centre City Development Corporation) will administer the construction contract.
Project funding is not to exceed $12,734,083. Of that amount, $12,007,312 derives from Recognized Obligation Payment Schedules (ROPS) project funds, and “additional funds of up to $726,771.” The project includes construction costs estimated at $11,708,912, as well as payment for design, consulting, furniture, fixtures, equipment, permits, and administration.
However, funding for new public art, estimated at around $4 million, is not included. The public artwork plan specifies large-scale electronic artwork, performance artwork, large-scale suspended artwork, and large-scale wall-mounted art. The plan, approved in June by the City's Commission for Arts and Culture, states that public art “will not occur simultaneously with the 2013–2014 construction at the site.” Necessary fundraising will require grants, donations, and sponsorships, it stated.
No public opposition to the plaza project occurred at the council meeting. District 2 councilmember Kevin Faulconer called it a “great project” and “an iconic place. I can't wait.” District 3 councilmember Todd Gloria, whose changed district will include downtown, also praised the plaza, calling it “the heart of the city.”