Brenda Spencer opened fire, and Bob Geldof later wrote “I Don’t Like Mondays”
Eight children were wounded, a principal and a custodian died, and Bob Geldof got a song out of it. Now the site of San Diego’s former Cleveland Elementary school is drawing the attention of a well-connected lobbyist for the city’s often cut-throat real estate development business.
On Monday morning, January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opened fire on the school across the street from her house. Geldof later wrote “I Don’t Like Mondays” for his band, the Boomtown Rats, based on a quote Evening Tribune reporter Steve Weigand obtained from Spencer when he called her family’s phone number during the shooting spree. This January the school board unceremoniously voted to unload the property. “Cleveland Elementary consists of 8.76 acres of an improved school site,” says the offering notice. “Currently it is being used by a charter school as a middle school.” The minimum price was set at $5.8 million, with final offers due last month.
Whether neighbors approve or not, greater densities may loom, based on an April 24 lobbyist disclosure filing by the Atlantis Group, run by Marcela Escobar-Eck. The controversial former city development director, who quit office in the aftermath of the Sunroad over-height building scandal during the Jerry Sanders mayoral era, represents an outfit called Pref Investment 41, LLC. The firm is seeking “timely and equitable processing of entitlements” from the city for developing the land. Lately Escobar-Eck has been most noted for her advocacy of Carmel Valley’s controversial One Paseo mega-development. That proposal, being put together by Los Angeles–based Kilroy Development, has been forced onto the ballot by a successful referendum drive bankrolled by Costa Mesa competitor Donahue Schriber.