OB Planning Board Wed., Sept 3: Quigley Complex for Condos and New Units on Abbott Empty Lot

by on September 2, 2014 · 3 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

Here is the official agenda – below – of  the Ocean Beach Planning Board for their monthly meeting, this Wednesday, September 3rd.  The Board meets in the community room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave., 6pm sharp.  The Board will be looking at permits to convert residential units on Long Branch to condos and to allow the building of three one-bedroom units on Abbott.

Quigley Complex for Condos?

The Board has a couple of important action items on their agenda. First up is a permit and map waiver for the Quigley Complex at 5151 Long Branch. The current owner/developer Bateman wants to convert the 4 residential units in the unique building designed and built by well-known architect Rob Quigley back in the Seventies into 4 condos. (Quigley designed the new Central Library in downtown San Diego.) Bateman needs Board approval of his condo conversion plan.

Quigley House 5151 LngBrnch 02Here is what we reported back in mid-May of this year:

The owner of the Quigley complex on Long Branch Avenue has applied for a map waiver from the City in order to convert the four units into condos.  A notice has been sent out informing us that an application has been filed with the City of San Diego for a “Process 3 Map Waiver” in order to convert 4 residential units into condos on the .092 acres of the site.

The “Quigley complex” – so-called because the 3-story innovative building was originally owned and designed by Rob Quigley – is right in the mid block on the south side at 5151 Long Branch.

When the complex sold in 2011, here is what we reported:

Although originally built in the mid-seventies and since re-stuccoed, this 3-story building is quite unique, as it was designed and constructed by Rob Quigley, San Diego’s famous architect. Quigley is more known for designing San Diego’s new central library currently being built downtown.

The Quigley place on Long Branch was one of the first apartment buildings to be constructed under the “new” OB Precise Plan of 1975 – a plan that encouraged and supported “green” technologies – way before anyone else – and gave props to innovation, creativity, – and, well, simply – uniqueness. Quigley had been working with the folks who had staged OB’s “urban-planning revolution”, and they had all given him the green light to move on his construction project..

The building was designed and built for four units – 3 of them smallish -, all uniquely designed, with different floor plans. Several were multilevel. Three of the units have decks. The apartments are two-bedroom, two-bath and are 885, 931, and 1,059 square feet. One unit is 1,246 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths.

In order to obtain approval from the City and the OB Planning Board for a condo-conversion, a map waiver has to be approved – which waives the requirements for individual ownership of the sections of the plot of land. (I believe – and wait to be corrected by our hometown planners who peruse this site.)

Condo conversions have become somewhat controversial because they remove housing stock from the rental market, squeezing the lower end of the economic scale even more by limiting where tenants can live – and in turn helping to drive up rental rates.

OB Voltaire n Abbott mw 2

Empty lot at Voltaire and Abbott. Photos by Matthew Wood.

Three Units for Empty Lot at Abbott and Voltaire

Another issue for the Board is whether they approve a permit to construct three one-bedroom units on an existing 5000 square foot lot at 2185 and 2191 Abbott Street and 5095 Voltaire Street.  The lot in question has been empty for decades and normally provides parking for residents of the cottages just to the east. Last November, we reported on the sale of the lot.

Here’s what our reporter, Matthew Wood, said then:

The long-vacant lot at the southeast corner of Voltaire and Abbott Streets has just been recently sold, which may spark a domino effect of land sales on that corner.  View of vacant lot just sold, looking north across Voltaire to Pat’s Liquor. The lot has been empty for decades and is currently utilized by residents of adjacent cottages.

OB Voltaire n Abbott mwRay Adams, of Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate, confirmed the two lots had been sold for $635,000. The lots are 2,500 square feet each – 5,000 square feet total – and are zoned for residential housing. The Keen Family Trust was the seller.

He said the lots could probably be used for a maximum of three units.  “You probably can’t build any more there,” he said.

Other agenda items for the Board include possible appointments and announcements of possible vacancies.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth September 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm

The Abbott and Voltaire project a lot more interesting than the Quigley one. Project Review Committee voted to recommend approval 4-3 in a split vote.


brian September 3, 2014 at 11:47 am

I still do not want to have to pack up leave 5151 long branch. I can’t afford to buy it and will just have to find another spot. I don’t like condo converions


Marc Snelling September 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Agreed. When the condo conversion comes in all the talk is about ‘owner occupancy’. Then the new owner rents the condo out for more $ than the apartment cost in the first place, the original renter is gone, and there is still no owner occupancy. Usually just a tool to drive up the rent.

I have a friend on Del Mar Ave who rents his unit and the owner has been trying to convince him to buy it for years. He has never agreed, even though he could probably afford it.


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