Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
The controversial Plaza de Panama project appears to moving along according to plan, Mayor Jerry Sanders and billionaire philanthropist Irwin Jacobs' plan, that is.
On September 19, the City put out a request for bids from outside companies capable of furnishing "the City of San Diego with Movers for the Pedestrian Trams for the Balboa Park Plaza de Panama Project."
But the City isn't the only entity moving forward on the major renovation project aimed at removing cars from the Plaza de Panama.
On Tuesday, October 2, city councilmembers will be asked to approve issuing $17.4 million in tax-exempt bonds for the construction of a massive parking garage behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Annual revenues collected from that parking structure, estimated at $1.3 million per year, will go towards the debt from the bonds.
According to a report from city staff: "...the City recognized that the undertaking of the reclamation and restoration of the Plaza de Panama is of such significant cost that it will not be feasible solely through funds raised by the Committee. Accordingly, to ensure funding for the parking garage portion of the Project, the City Council also approved a plan of finance on July 9, 2012 contemplating the issuance of tax-exempt bonds in an amount self-supported from parking fee revenues generated by the operation of the Parking Garage."
Progress continues, however, despite a lawsuit from Save Our Heritage Organisation. The lawsuit objects to putting in a bypass road at the east end of the Cabrillo Bridge. The group and its supporters say the new road will destroy an old landmark.