This is the future of Ocean Beach. These are the architect’s drawings of what Saratoga and Abbott will look like, once the twelve, 3-story condos are developed.
With the news that the corner site at Abbott Street and Saratoga has been sold (1984-92 Abbott St. and 5113-19 Saratoga Ave.), residents of the community will be confronting the reality that a significant corner of the beachfront will be forever transformed.
Some consider this site, next to Saratoga Park and right on the beach, to be one of the most “important” within OB. Whatever does or does not happen there will help to define this community’s identity.
The new ownership – 1984 Abbott LLC, c/o Clark Realty Capital LLC – plans on developing 12 new townhome condos with an average projected unit floor plan of 1,200 square feet. The new development includes plans for a 27-space subterranean parking garage.
OB and Southern California beach towns in general have been experiencing a rise in new construction – despite the housing market – as there is money apparently to develop choice beachfront properties. Our community has been undergoing a slow process of gentrification for years, where individual new homes – large in scale – have been built that outclass their neighbors. This has been particularly true along the cliffs and the more western lots near the sand.
Currently there are 15 apartments and four detached buildings slated to be demolished, (including the first location of Hodad’s restaurant at the beach). The two alleys that border the west and south sides of the property will be eliminated, and half of the alleys will become the property of the new development. The entire alley area will be turfed for pedestrian use and open space.
In the recent past, residents and planning observers have raised a number of issues about this site and its future development:
- the underground garage being built in a flood zone, for as recently as this past Winter, the area flooded badly;
- the city giving up property adjacent to park land allowing the developers to intensify the project.
- new owners of the condos – who paid big bucks for these units – may be a source of future complaints about people hanging out in the park, fire rings, marshmallow fights, and other goings-on at Saratoga Park;
- the Saratoga Park Project will NOT be funky, green and “filled with good energy”;
- the new owners are requested to consult with some of our local architects, and bring a preliminary design to by our planning board (before they finalize their plans)
One issue that apparently was not explained well by the City is the transference of some property – if the 20-foot wide public right-of-way that is on two sides of the property (it is now blocked off, but the ocean-facing side is where the residents have their tiki bar and horseshoe court) was originally used as a fire lane.
The property line actually runs right down the middle of that right-of-way, and if vacated, half reverts to City property (park space) and half reverts to the owner’s use (which definitely gave them more buildable area to squeeze in a few more units). But some believe that the City did not own all of that land, but had a right to use it that was based upon an obsolete public purpose.
The new owner who purchased the site for nearly $4 Million (1984 Abbott LLC, c/o Clark Realty Capital LLC) is located at 3655 Nobel Drive, Suite 500, San Diego. Clark Realty is an Arlington, Va., headquartered real estate company.
As of this writing, we are not certain when this project will come before the OB Planning Board – if at all.
In any event, here’s some renderings of the proposed design, from the architect’s website:
(Tip o’hat to Seth, Sunshine, and Dan.)