But we have to say:
There’s a Construction Boom Going on in OB!
There’s a huge development coming in down at the waterfront, there’s the work being done at the corner lot at Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, and there’s the construction of the third large mansion on West Pt Loma. And we’re not talking about all the street repairs, cross-walk installations, one-way streets and detours.
Saratoga and Abbott: the Ocean Park Villa Condos
The largest construction project that OB has seen in possibly decades is happening right at the waterfront. It’s impossible not to notice it. But a 3 story 10 condo complex with partial-underground parking is going up at the corner of Abbott Street and Saratoga Avenue. Called the Ocean Park Villa Condos, they were set to be built a year ago. (See this history of the project.)
This project more than any other development challenges OB’s sense of self, as it will drastically alter OB’s waterfront. And some say for the better. But others fought this project going in. No one really defended the old dilapidated two-story apartment box on the corner, and even the old Hodad’s / Dempsys building didn’t inspire anyone to do a rehab.
See this diagram of the project (excuse the poor quality):
Take a walk with us as we tour the outside of the construction site – on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
This – above – is the front of the site – off of Abbott Street.
The above gives you an idea of how deep the hole is – the foreground is at sidewalk level.
Sunset Plaza at Voltaire Street and Sunset Cliffs Blvd
Next up on our tour of the construction boom going on in Ocean Beach in mid-April is the drastic make-over going on at the large corner lot at Voltaire Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.
The former Dover Plumbing building is history, and a large hole has been dug and a massive mound of dirt now waits for removal.
This is the site of the future Sunset Plaza – owned by World Oil.
This corner has quite a colorful history – and history of contention (see this), once a gas station, then a recycling center, then a guerrilla community garden, and then an empty lot collecting trash during the Great Recession.
The owner – World Oil – tried to install a gas station several times – but was blocked by both the community and the city.
Now that the owners presented OB with a despicably maintained lot that marred the village’s entryway for years – for a decade – it drove the community to the point where a common attitude became: ‘well, it’s better than nothing.’
To complete our tour of the boom going on in OB, we must visit what’s happening along West Pt Loma near the beach.
A series of large houses circumvented the OB Precise Plan, obtained questionable variances and now have created what we are calling “The Wall”. It’s a wall of cement, stucco, wood, and glass – and if allowed to continue, it will “wall” off that portion of the beach from the rest of the community. This is what gentrification is all about.
The OB Planning Board has been fighting this gentrification, by denying proposals, then having to appeal City decisions. In fact, n late 2012, the Board called for a moratorium of the granting of variances along this section by the city. And, language in the new draft OB Community Plan strengthens a ban on improper variances.
What does it all mean?
Well, for us, it’s a continuing indication that OB is at a development crossroads – and the Village needs to sit up and pay attention – and get involved in the OB Planning Board.