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Property astir on El Cajon Blvd.

Lafayette Hotel, Red Fox Room, Mississippi Apartments

Red Fox Room is building a new home right across from the Lafayette.
Red Fox Room is building a new home right across from the Lafayette.

Legendary El Cajon Boulevard has had a checkered past since its early days, when it was once the major East-West highway (CA 80) into San Diego. It consisted of car dealerships, motels, shops, and eateries for weary travelers.

Lafayette Hotel, built in 1946, attracted Ava Gardner, Bob Hope, Conrad Hilton, Johnny Weissmuller, Florence Chadwick.

The hotel that stood above the crowd is the historic Lafayette Hotel, at 2223 El Cajon. Built in 1946 by car dealer Larry Imig, it became a place for big bands and celebs including Ava Gardner and Bob “Ski Nose” Hope. CH Projects, aka Consortium Holdings, has now embarked on its first hotel holding with its purchase of the Lafayette for $ 25.8 million.

Mississippi Apartments construction across the street from the Lafayette.

The seller of the hotel was JCG Development, who took ownership in 2004 for $11 million. It later underwent a major renovation, with $4+ million in San Diego Redevelopment Agency funds. According to JCG, in the ‘40’s and ‘50s, the hotel sat on nearly 2.5 acres and boasted 24 shops, four restaurants, a nightclub, and 250 guest rooms, suites, and apartments. Later in the ‘50s, hotelier and San Diego Charger owner Conrad Hilton purchased the hotel, and demolished the apartments. Shops are no longer part of the hotel’s features.

CH co-founder Arsalun Tafazoli declined to say how much his group plans to spend on the update.

Meanwhile, the legendary Red Fox Room is still alive but not yet kicking. It’s building a new home right across from the Lafayette, at 2200 El Cajon Boulevard. According to its website, it plans to open this summer.

Owned by the Demos family since 1966, the restaurant manager is Jim Demos, son of the founder.

The high-rise loft Aidn apartments at 2411 El Cajon Blvd.

In 2020, the housing authority of the city of San Diego issued up to $12,150,000 of San Diego tax-exempt multifamily housing revenue bonds and $4,000,000 of taxable bonds for the construction of a new affordable housing development at 2139 El Cajon Boulevard. The project was named Mississippi ECB Apartments. Formerly on this site was a health clinic, and an auto repair shop.

The Mississippi ECB Apartments will consist of 61 units (including a manager’s unit) affordable to families earning between 50% and 80% of the area median income. The units will remain affordable for 55 years per law. The development by Trestle Development, includes 24 studios, 24 one-bedrooms and 12 two-bedroom units. Construction is expected to complete by June 2022. Construction costs are estimated at $13 million, but the final cost is thought to total $23 million.

Craft beer place Twisted Taps went belly-up a while back, at the northeast corner of Louisiana Street and El Cajon Boulevard. That location has had many commercial lessees over the last 10 years, and nothing seems to last. But next door, Gillys bar just keeps on bringing in its regular clientele.

Just east of longtime Dave’s Flower Shop was a parking lot, used by Négociant Winery. The narrow lot didn’t look like much, but it’s now the site of the Aidn Apartments, a high-rise loft project.

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Red Fox Room is building a new home right across from the Lafayette.
Red Fox Room is building a new home right across from the Lafayette.

Legendary El Cajon Boulevard has had a checkered past since its early days, when it was once the major East-West highway (CA 80) into San Diego. It consisted of car dealerships, motels, shops, and eateries for weary travelers.

Lafayette Hotel, built in 1946, attracted Ava Gardner, Bob Hope, Conrad Hilton, Johnny Weissmuller, Florence Chadwick.

The hotel that stood above the crowd is the historic Lafayette Hotel, at 2223 El Cajon. Built in 1946 by car dealer Larry Imig, it became a place for big bands and celebs including Ava Gardner and Bob “Ski Nose” Hope. CH Projects, aka Consortium Holdings, has now embarked on its first hotel holding with its purchase of the Lafayette for $ 25.8 million.

Mississippi Apartments construction across the street from the Lafayette.

The seller of the hotel was JCG Development, who took ownership in 2004 for $11 million. It later underwent a major renovation, with $4+ million in San Diego Redevelopment Agency funds. According to JCG, in the ‘40’s and ‘50s, the hotel sat on nearly 2.5 acres and boasted 24 shops, four restaurants, a nightclub, and 250 guest rooms, suites, and apartments. Later in the ‘50s, hotelier and San Diego Charger owner Conrad Hilton purchased the hotel, and demolished the apartments. Shops are no longer part of the hotel’s features.

CH co-founder Arsalun Tafazoli declined to say how much his group plans to spend on the update.

Meanwhile, the legendary Red Fox Room is still alive but not yet kicking. It’s building a new home right across from the Lafayette, at 2200 El Cajon Boulevard. According to its website, it plans to open this summer.

Owned by the Demos family since 1966, the restaurant manager is Jim Demos, son of the founder.

The high-rise loft Aidn apartments at 2411 El Cajon Blvd.

In 2020, the housing authority of the city of San Diego issued up to $12,150,000 of San Diego tax-exempt multifamily housing revenue bonds and $4,000,000 of taxable bonds for the construction of a new affordable housing development at 2139 El Cajon Boulevard. The project was named Mississippi ECB Apartments. Formerly on this site was a health clinic, and an auto repair shop.

The Mississippi ECB Apartments will consist of 61 units (including a manager’s unit) affordable to families earning between 50% and 80% of the area median income. The units will remain affordable for 55 years per law. The development by Trestle Development, includes 24 studios, 24 one-bedrooms and 12 two-bedroom units. Construction is expected to complete by June 2022. Construction costs are estimated at $13 million, but the final cost is thought to total $23 million.

Craft beer place Twisted Taps went belly-up a while back, at the northeast corner of Louisiana Street and El Cajon Boulevard. That location has had many commercial lessees over the last 10 years, and nothing seems to last. But next door, Gillys bar just keeps on bringing in its regular clientele.

Just east of longtime Dave’s Flower Shop was a parking lot, used by Négociant Winery. The narrow lot didn’t look like much, but it’s now the site of the Aidn Apartments, a high-rise loft project.

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Comments
8

There wasn't enough space in the article for all the development going on along El Cajon Blvd. Remember the Palomar Casino (card room) shut down for alleged illegal activities? That bldg. is now a construction site.

Oct. 19, 2021

I reported on the Palomar Card Club 10 years ago, when there was inadequate attention paid to what was really going on there. The FBI raid came later, ultimately resulting in a shutdown. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Oct. 25, 2021

The area inside the red box is the site for coming construction of more apartments. The complex will be right across from Lafayette Hotel.

Oct. 20, 2021

I loved the old Red Fox Room. Great ambience.. And where else could one use their steak to cut a knife? The place won't be the same without the cigarette smoke, but I'm looking forward to christening the new spot.

Oct. 20, 2021

"...use their steak to cut a knife." hahaha, good one! And how about that retro relish dish?

Oct. 21, 2021

Never had the nerve to sample its contents.

Oct. 21, 2021

I only ate there a couple of times, and didn't have steak. Don't like it anymore. I did eat the bland relish, and survived.

Oct. 21, 2021

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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
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