Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Underground water in Carlsbad plays tricks on developers

Moisture in the soil delays Marriott suites

Spring Hill Suites by Marriott
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott

Andy Davis knew last year that a developer would be coming to demolish his popular downtown Carlsbad hang known by locals as the Cantina.

The 20-year-old Mas Fina Cantina restaurant and bar on State Street, the even older Hennessey’s Tavern on Roosevelt Street and all the buildings in between were to get razed to make way for a four-story mixed use condo/retail complex called Carlsbad Station which will create some 80 condos, a restaurant and a handful of retail spaces.

Carlsbad's water has a history.

But then mother nature intervened, says Davis.

“In January I called them and said, ‘OK guys, it’s been a year since we heard about all this so can you tell us when the bulldozers are coming?,” says Davis. “They just kind of said, ‘Uh, plans have changed. It’s going to be postponed.”

Davis says he understands the Cantina is saved for the time being by a previously unknown underground water table. “In order to make it work, the plans called for underground parking. When they found there was a lake down there, they discovered they had to start over.”

Davis thinks the process to redraw the plans and go through all the permitting again will take at least another two years. He says he has not gotten a direct answer.

“I heard it caused the 7-11 to sink three inches.”

The savior of Mas Fina Cantina appears to be the same underground water table that put Carlsbad on the map in 1882.

Mas Fina Cantina is about 300 yards northeast of the Carlsbad Mineral Water landmark on Carlsbad Boulevard/Highway 101 that sells natural water to drive-up customers. Its alkaline water is also bottled for retail sale.

“That well was discovered by John Frazier,” says Susan Gutierrez, president of the Carlsbad Historical Society. “He convinced the city founders that it was a good opportunity to develop a town in an area that was a desert. It provided water to the steam railroad engines that ran back then. And it was a real draw for real estate developers. Carlsbad was founded because of water.”

Mas Fina Cantina – saved by an underground lake?

The well was abandoned during the great depression. It was re-drilled in the mid-90s and after 60 years reopened as the Carlsbad Mineral Water Artesian Well.

The Don Dewhurst family owns much of the property planned for the Carlsbad Station development. A call to the Dewhursts through their family-owned Karlsbad Realty seeking comment about the future of the properties was not returned.

Davis says that this is not the only time that aggressive development in Carlsbad’s Village area has been impacted by the naturally moist soil.

Locals say that construction of the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, at 3136 Carlsbad Boulevard, was delayed for months because the sides of the underground parking area had actually caved in due to moisture in the soil.

A call to spokesperson Shanna Davis of DKN Hotels of Irvine to get more information on the SpringHill Suites by Marriott construction snafus was not returned. But a visit to the construction site of SpringHill Suites showed that at least ten hardhat workers were back on the job. I contacted site superintendent Johann Larsson about why the job was delayed and he said he would have no comment. His supervisor, Ed Mueller of Bayley Construction of Lake Forest, also said he would not comment. He did admit there was a period when there was no construction, but that its cause was due to the previous construction company which has since moved on. “Call the people at T. B. Penick and maybe they’ll answer some questions,” says Mueller.

A request for comment form T.B. Penick & Sons of San Diego on the work stoppage at the SpringHill Suites in Carlsbad was not returned.

But Carlsbad's spongy soil sinkhole saga did not just slow down the Marriott hotel construction. According to local lore, it even caused the adjacent row of businesses to fall into the earth. “I heard it caused the 7-11 to sink three inches,” says one local.

Immediately north of the SpringHilll Suites construction site are three contiguous businesses, 7-11, Sub Zero Ice Cream and Board & Brew. Two different managers at 7-11 said they were aware of the sinking but said I had to speak with Sterling Property Management to get a comment. Attempts to reach them were not successful. A manager named Sergio at Board & Brew said he had noticed his business had sunk a bit but that I had to speak with his boss Andre Ortiz about an official comment. Ortiz did not return a request for comment.

Cliff Jones, senior planner with the city of Carlsbad says that there was indeed some soil “settlement” problems endured by the 7-11/Board & Brew businesses because of the adjacent Marriott construction, but that the new construction company has managed to proceed without any new soil sinking issues.

City of Carlsbad project engineer Kyrenne Chua says that underground water was in fact discovered at the Carlsbad Station project site. “It is common to find water deposits in that part of Carlsbad.” But that it does not mean the project is dead. She says there was underground water at the six-condo project called Six on Madison on the corner of Oak Avenue and Madison Avenue and the developer successfully “dewatered” the site to allow the undergrounding to go through. “I wouldn’t say [the discovery of water] would prevent the Carlsbad Station project from going through.” She says the developer must adapt the project around the recommendations provided by geotechnical engineers as excavation moves ahead.

Chua says the Carlsbad Station project goes before the Carlsbad planning commission on June 17 and if approved may go before the city council in August. She says if it is approved there, it could mean current businesses would have six months to two years before the bulldozers come to rip out their buildings.

But Kevin Bender, a former member of the Carlsbad Historic Preservation Commission, says parking lots just don’t belong where underground wells are now. “Water is telling Carlsbad to stop digging into its domain for parking. We need an over-ground public parking structure in the Village. Water has wit and wisdom. Listen to it.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Stuck between two cuisines

Sushi vs BBQ
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott

Andy Davis knew last year that a developer would be coming to demolish his popular downtown Carlsbad hang known by locals as the Cantina.

The 20-year-old Mas Fina Cantina restaurant and bar on State Street, the even older Hennessey’s Tavern on Roosevelt Street and all the buildings in between were to get razed to make way for a four-story mixed use condo/retail complex called Carlsbad Station which will create some 80 condos, a restaurant and a handful of retail spaces.

Carlsbad's water has a history.

But then mother nature intervened, says Davis.

“In January I called them and said, ‘OK guys, it’s been a year since we heard about all this so can you tell us when the bulldozers are coming?,” says Davis. “They just kind of said, ‘Uh, plans have changed. It’s going to be postponed.”

Davis says he understands the Cantina is saved for the time being by a previously unknown underground water table. “In order to make it work, the plans called for underground parking. When they found there was a lake down there, they discovered they had to start over.”

Davis thinks the process to redraw the plans and go through all the permitting again will take at least another two years. He says he has not gotten a direct answer.

“I heard it caused the 7-11 to sink three inches.”

The savior of Mas Fina Cantina appears to be the same underground water table that put Carlsbad on the map in 1882.

Mas Fina Cantina is about 300 yards northeast of the Carlsbad Mineral Water landmark on Carlsbad Boulevard/Highway 101 that sells natural water to drive-up customers. Its alkaline water is also bottled for retail sale.

“That well was discovered by John Frazier,” says Susan Gutierrez, president of the Carlsbad Historical Society. “He convinced the city founders that it was a good opportunity to develop a town in an area that was a desert. It provided water to the steam railroad engines that ran back then. And it was a real draw for real estate developers. Carlsbad was founded because of water.”

Mas Fina Cantina – saved by an underground lake?

The well was abandoned during the great depression. It was re-drilled in the mid-90s and after 60 years reopened as the Carlsbad Mineral Water Artesian Well.

The Don Dewhurst family owns much of the property planned for the Carlsbad Station development. A call to the Dewhursts through their family-owned Karlsbad Realty seeking comment about the future of the properties was not returned.

Davis says that this is not the only time that aggressive development in Carlsbad’s Village area has been impacted by the naturally moist soil.

Locals say that construction of the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, at 3136 Carlsbad Boulevard, was delayed for months because the sides of the underground parking area had actually caved in due to moisture in the soil.

A call to spokesperson Shanna Davis of DKN Hotels of Irvine to get more information on the SpringHill Suites by Marriott construction snafus was not returned. But a visit to the construction site of SpringHill Suites showed that at least ten hardhat workers were back on the job. I contacted site superintendent Johann Larsson about why the job was delayed and he said he would have no comment. His supervisor, Ed Mueller of Bayley Construction of Lake Forest, also said he would not comment. He did admit there was a period when there was no construction, but that its cause was due to the previous construction company which has since moved on. “Call the people at T. B. Penick and maybe they’ll answer some questions,” says Mueller.

A request for comment form T.B. Penick & Sons of San Diego on the work stoppage at the SpringHill Suites in Carlsbad was not returned.

But Carlsbad's spongy soil sinkhole saga did not just slow down the Marriott hotel construction. According to local lore, it even caused the adjacent row of businesses to fall into the earth. “I heard it caused the 7-11 to sink three inches,” says one local.

Immediately north of the SpringHilll Suites construction site are three contiguous businesses, 7-11, Sub Zero Ice Cream and Board & Brew. Two different managers at 7-11 said they were aware of the sinking but said I had to speak with Sterling Property Management to get a comment. Attempts to reach them were not successful. A manager named Sergio at Board & Brew said he had noticed his business had sunk a bit but that I had to speak with his boss Andre Ortiz about an official comment. Ortiz did not return a request for comment.

Cliff Jones, senior planner with the city of Carlsbad says that there was indeed some soil “settlement” problems endured by the 7-11/Board & Brew businesses because of the adjacent Marriott construction, but that the new construction company has managed to proceed without any new soil sinking issues.

City of Carlsbad project engineer Kyrenne Chua says that underground water was in fact discovered at the Carlsbad Station project site. “It is common to find water deposits in that part of Carlsbad.” But that it does not mean the project is dead. She says there was underground water at the six-condo project called Six on Madison on the corner of Oak Avenue and Madison Avenue and the developer successfully “dewatered” the site to allow the undergrounding to go through. “I wouldn’t say [the discovery of water] would prevent the Carlsbad Station project from going through.” She says the developer must adapt the project around the recommendations provided by geotechnical engineers as excavation moves ahead.

Chua says the Carlsbad Station project goes before the Carlsbad planning commission on June 17 and if approved may go before the city council in August. She says if it is approved there, it could mean current businesses would have six months to two years before the bulldozers come to rip out their buildings.

But Kevin Bender, a former member of the Carlsbad Historic Preservation Commission, says parking lots just don’t belong where underground wells are now. “Water is telling Carlsbad to stop digging into its domain for parking. We need an over-ground public parking structure in the Village. Water has wit and wisdom. Listen to it.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers
Next Article

Interact with Animals, On the Harbor with Hard Kombucha, Interior Design Home Tours

Events July 9-July 11, 2020
Comments
6

Carlsbad does not need another 80 condo development in the heart of the old village. Digging into the aquafir to build parking is a classic example of putting money ahead of the environment. The city needs to change its approach to growth and base it on sustainability not who can afford to destroy it. New leadership is sorely needed.

June 3, 2020

You likely not live in Carlsbad long enuff to remember or know of such a public issue, but can you recollect when relating Natural Plants, VS GROWTH of houses --- was an issue?? As rain paid for the water of the plants, not the taxpayers.

June 3, 2020

This is gonna put a crimp in Carlsbad's grand plan to underground the railroad tracks like they did in Solana Beach.

June 4, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 8, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 9, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 10, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close