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In a November 4 interview, the Very Reverend Scott Richardson, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, said it appears their project to renovate the cathedral and construct two high-rise, mixed-use condominium towers is a done deal. At the San Diego City Council's November 8 session, Richardson expects approval to be a formality.

The Planning Committee previously approved the application on a 5-0 vote, and there was no opposition at that time. The Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association had previously expressed misgivings about the project, particularly the 180-foot-height of one tower; that tower will now be 158 feet high.

Richardson said the association's chair, Leo Wilson, now publicly supports their project. St. Paul's will also pay $1.5 million to the San Diego Housing Authority as an "in-lieu fee" rather than construct affordable housing units.

The project involves two land parcels adjacent to the cathedral, on Sixth Avenue, across from Balboa Park. The Park Chateau apartments at 2761 Fifth Avenue (at Olive Street) face demolition, along with the church's administration building. A vacant lot at 2665 Fifth Avenue (at Nutmeg Street) is the second site.

The two-story administrative building in the foreground will be demolished, along with the yellow apartment building to its North.

The vacant lot at 2665 Fifth Avenue, currently used for selling pumpkins, is the site for one condo tower.

Rev. Richardson in his office in the church's administrative building

The modernistic towers will include 110 condominiums, retail space, and 20,000 square feet of cathedral office space and underground parking. A 15-story building with 65 condo units will be sited at the Olive Street location; at the Nutmeg site, a tower will be 13 stories with 45 units. Additions and renovations to the cathedral include two new bell towers.

The selected developers will pay “several million dollars” to St. Paul's, plus provide office and program space in return for owning the adjacent land. Developers would keep all profits from selling the luxury condos, Richardson said. The building plans include energy-efficient heating/cooling, appliances, and lighting. Richardson hopes for a start “in one year,” and expects construction to take two years. The funds paid by the developer will be used mostly “to do more to meet the needs of people and endow the ministry," not for administrative purposes, Richardson emphasized.

See the video for an idea of the changes to come.

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dwbat Nov. 8, 2011 @ 2:36 p.m.

As predicted, the City Council unanimously approved the project today. District 2 Council President Pro Tem called the project "a tremendous benefit to the community." District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria called St. Paul's Cathedral a "jewel."


dwbat Nov. 8, 2011 @ 2:39 p.m.

District 2 is, of course, represented by Kevin Faulconer. But next year Todd Gloria will be representing the area.


clockerbob Nov. 8, 2011 @ 3:17 p.m.

St. Paul's will also pay $1.5 million to the San Diego Housing Authority as an "in-lieu fee" rather than construct affordable housing units.

you'd think a church would build affordable housing. Be forewarned the latest 12 story tower build on Upas and sixth ave has sat vacant for years. St Pauls has a free organ recital every tues at 12:30 PM.


dwbat Nov. 8, 2011 @ 6:29 p.m.

The original plan was for St. Paul's to build some affordable housing units at the site. But during the long negotiation process, it was decided they would instead pay $1.5 million for the city's affordable housing program. By the way, here's an architectural rending of what the completed project should look like when viewed from Balboa Park across 6th Avenue: http://i42.tinypic.com/219nuh0.jpg


dwbat Nov. 13, 2011 @ 9:59 a.m.

As for the 14-story Mi Arbolito condo building at 6th and Upas, it is a horrible design. Nobody likes the architecture, and the interiors are supposedly no better. It received a local "Onion" award sometime back. So I wouldn't compare the Cathedral Residences with that awful project. Mi Arbolito is like bad fish; it stinks on ice!


Twister Nov. 13, 2011 @ 7:09 p.m.

They may stay empty, but at least the riff-raff will have to liff elsewhere.


dwbat Nov. 18, 2011 @ 12:26 p.m.

Mi Arbolito has a website, so perhaps they are still trying to unload these overpriced turkeys. According to the CA Sec. of State website, Mi Arbolito, LLC (filed in 2003), is still "active." It lists Anthony G. Cutri as "agent for service of process." Cutri is VP of the design firm, Martinez & Cutri.


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