Artist’s rendering of Macy’s future neighbors, should it fail to make way for proposed tech campus at Horton Plaza. “Is this the kind of hobo chic that’s good for the Macy’s brand?” asked Mayor Faulconer as he presented the image. “Because we’ve got plenty here in San Diego, and we’re happy to share.”
Back in May, boosters of San Diego’s downtown rejoiced at the news that the near-derelict Horton Plaza Mall would be redeveloped into a hi-tech campus by Stockdale Capital Partners, which purchased the formerly fabulous shopping center from Westfield for $175 million. But that plan hit a snag last week, when Macy’s, one of the mall’s sole remaining tenants, filed suit to stop the developer, citing both its lease and contractual agreements that require its approval for property improvements.
This week, Mayor Faulconer responded to the suit with a new proposal. “Okay, so we can’t make any improvements. So how about we make things substantially worse? Every week, there’s another rash of problems related to the members of San Diego’s homeless community, many of whom choose to live downtown. And here, we’ve got over a million square feet of unused space, right in the heart of the Gaslamp, just waiting for folks to come and hunker down along its many empty sidewalks and abandoned storefronts. Best of all, it’s almost entirely contained. A couple of electronic fences, and we’ve got us a new kind of gated community. Everybody wins. Well, everybody who’s not in Horton Plaza. Your move, Mr. Macy.”