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Horton Plaza Project Approved, but Planned Art Unfunded

The Broadway fountain will be restored, and the former Robinsons-May/Sam Goody building will be razed.
The Broadway fountain will be restored, and the former Robinsons-May/Sam Goody building will be razed.

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.”

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The Broadway fountain will be restored, and the former Robinsons-May/Sam Goody building will be razed.
The Broadway fountain will be restored, and the former Robinsons-May/Sam Goody building will be razed.

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.”

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Comments
6

Sounds nice, it's a good start to help entice people to visit downtown. However, our downtown is nowhere near the activity level of Union Square in SF or the recently renovated portions of downtown LA. I'd prefer electronic lighting/artwork vs. traditional sculpture as it's more exciting, can be quickly altered for special events, and lots less expensive.

Nov. 20, 2012

That sounds better than Rachel Rosenthal-like performance art, which might make people scatter and run to Little Italy. ;-)

Nov. 20, 2012

The building demolition is continuing. I shot this photo today.

None

Jan. 8, 2013

It's really coming down now! Photo taken April 10.

April 10, 2013

And here's another photo update from August 14.

None

Aug. 14, 2013

The delayed project now has a September 2015 completion date, according to Civic San Diego, and it'll cost $4.9 million more: http://www.civicsd.com/images/stories/downloads/news/2014/Horton_Plaza_Park_Funding_Approved_72514.pdf

July 28, 2014

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