News from Ocean Beach and the Peninsula – Mid-August 2016

by on August 12, 2016 · 30 comments

in Culture, Environment, Life Events, Media, Ocean Beach

OB Decco Bike bank 3 edDecco Bikes Signs Not Part of Their Contract With City

There was a minor ‘to-do’ not too long ago over Decco Bikes placing large signs on their bicycle installation over at the OB Pier parking lot. This was not part of the contract with the City, some businesspeople told the OB Rag, and the for-rent bike company. So, Councilwoman Zapf’s office was called, and her aid Conrad Wear told us that since the OB Pier lot was part of a park, and signs are not allowed in parks – presto! – the Decco Bike sign at the lot is gone.

But not so fast! What about the large, bulletin-board size sign on Decco Bikes over next to Chase Bank, right off Sunset Cliffs Boulevard? It’s still there. but no park. No attention.  It will probably remain up as ‘what’s good for Decco Bikes, is good for the village’, right?

OB OBeans edOB Beans to Open on Newport

Looks like a new coffee house/ shop is opening up on Newport Avenue. OBBeans is staking its claim to that storefront next to Vintage Antiques. And it looks like they’ll do their own roasting on site, maybe?

OB Library Needs Computer Desk

Our lovely local library has a temporary need for a small desk or table with room for a computer and a telephone. If you could help the library with this temporary need, please contact Librarian Matt Beatty or any of the wonderful people at the front desk, 619/531-1532.

Little Fire Damage at Ebers and Greene

A small fire broke out earlier this week on August 6th inside the project at Ebers and Greene streets.  This reporter did a street-level visual inspection and could find no signs of any damage to the structure under construction from the fire.

PL upper voltaire draw2

Digging Begins on Upper Voltaire Project

If you’ve driven by that section of Voltaire across from Wabaska Street, you may have noticed a construction fence up. And if you looked over it, you would see some massive changes going on. A lot of dirt has been dug out of that cliff section overlooking Nimitz Boulevard.

It’s the Upper Voltaire project- 28 units and commercial space –  taking a major step toward its development. We’ve been watching what progress there has been on this corner. Here’s what we reported on the Upper Voltaire Project back in April 2015 :

Designed to bring in “quality townhome residences”, the units will include 2 or 3 bedrooms with an average of 1,450 square feet. 17 of them will be 3-stories and eleven are 2-stories that will rest over retail storefronts. All the planned units will have a deck, and some will have two, plus garage spaces.

The project will include 6 buildings, with 3 of them having street-level retail spaces along Voltaire Street. Parking for commercial customers is a separate, at-grade parking lot behind the stores.

The mixed use project has been delayed for numerous reasons, and was originally scheduled for grading, shoring and off-site improvement work during the summer of 2012.  The vertical construction was planned to be finished by mid-2013. So, it appears to have been a delay of 2 years. The construction costs were estimated to be about $7 million a couple of years ago.

The project boasts of having “garnered unanimous approvals by both the City Planning Commission and San Diego City Council,” and states that “the project site was designated a ‘Smart Growth’ location on SANDAG’s City of Villages Regional Plan.” … Our reliable source says that all the permits are current.

Some of our commenters had things to say, especially about the impacts on local traffic.

OB Apple Tree 81016 ed“Progress” at Apple Tree Market

OB Apple Tree 81016 ed2There’s been some progress at OB’s market with the longest construction phase, Apple Tree Market on Newport Avenue. Inch by inch, foot by foot, progress is being made.

Hopefully, we’ll all live to see its opening.

Sgt Yu and the OB Yoga Festival

Sgt. Dave Yu of the San Diego Police Department, reports the San Diego Reader, and his “team” have partner with some local yoga instructors and now have big plans to host an OB Yoga Festival. Yu supposedly hounded Melanie Williams (Tri-power Yoga) and Shawna Schenk (Yoga with Shawna) to do something with yoga in OB. So they  received a grant from the Ocean Beach Town Council on July 27 to support their vision — and Sgt. Yu’s — of a better Ocean Beach. Melanie Williams said:

“It’s going to be January 27–29. We’ll have 20 concurrent yoga classes going on over the course of the weekend and we just got our permit — permit pending — to do the largest yoga class on the O.B. Pier.”

Both indoor and outdoor classes will be held, with many local businesses partaking, not just yoga studios.

Dylan Point Loma aptsFormer Barnard Elementary Now 180 “Ultra-Luxury” Units Sells for $90 Million

It was just announced by a builders’ website that 180 “ultra-luxury” apartment units was just sold for $90 million.

“JLL Income Property Trust, an institutionally-managed …real estate investment trust, announced the acquisition of Dylan Point Loma in San Diego. The property is a newly-developed, ultra-luxury 180 unit coastal apartment community that is walking distance from the Pacific Ocean. … The purchase price was approximately $90 million.”

I had to think hard. Where the heck is Dylan Point Loma, and actually had to look it up on google maps. And there was the revelation. Of course! It’s the old Barnard Elementary School site sold by the school district years ago for development. For awhile, the project was called “Bernard Apartments”.

And we’ve been following this huge project over the last few years. This was what we stated in October of 2012:

The leadership of the San Diego Unified School District voted … October 9th – to sell the property of the former Barnard Elementary School in the Midway area next to Ocean Beach. The property had brought in a high bid of $16.5 million.  The sale was part of their plan to balance this year’s budget. …

The Barnard site – 9.37 acres -is located at 930 Barnard Street, a block from West Point Loma Avenue in the Midway area. The “coastal zone” property was on the chopping block for a minimum bid of $9.14 million. Originally opened during World War II for Navy children, the elementary school had been acquired by the School District after the war, and used every since until recently.

Then in February 2015, we reported:

The huge project that is being built on the site of the former Barnard Elementary School has foundations poured for many of the 180 apartment units and 10 townhomes going in at the site.

This is one of the largest projects in the Peninsula, and its surrounded by 2-story apartments and condos in one of the most dense (and forgotten) neighborhoods in the city. 

Barnard Apartments expands on 9.5 acres which was bought by the Monarch Group for $16.5 million. The gated community is scheduled to be complete by January 2016.

We also made this comment in October 2015:

… we also noticed that even thought these new apartments will usher in another – what? – 500 people into the area, there are no apparent additions to the local infrastructure to accompany those new folks. No new roadways so the new hundreds can access the main road in the area are being planned, no new libraries, no new anything.

And hopefully, there won’t be too many school-age children, right?. 



{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

PL Local August 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm

I’ve hated the Bernard Apartments ever since the closing and demo of Bernard Elementary. What was suppose to be low income housing has now turned into $2k+ / month 1BR/1Bath


Kathy Blavatt August 13, 2016 at 4:45 am

In the early 2000’s Midway PAC had put on their list of community improvements for the North Bay Redevelopment tax increment funding to go for a park & ball field on the city owned land next to Barnard School. Instead that was knocked off the list, the school sold to a developer getting a great deal on land that the city could never afford to buy back… NO new parks have been put in the Midway area! We need to preserve our public land for public use!


Rufus August 13, 2016 at 7:24 am

Random thoughts….”Barnyard Elementary”, my kids attended back in the day. “Within walking distance of the Pacific.” Oh lordy, even a car saleman would find that claim to be a stretch. Infrastructure and roads? The project is a block from a primary street….West Point Loma, and the elementary school generated a huge number of average daily car trips. The apartments will probably mirror the school’s traffic. No gain, no loss. Parks? Overrated concern. Dusty Rhodes, Bill Cleator, the beach, Mission Bay Park, all within a bike ride. Finally on the up side, the development fees and property taxes paid by the owners will a be substantial benefit to local government and we get some new neighbors!


south OB girl August 13, 2016 at 10:04 am

John Baker is STILL open for now. And perhaps, maybe, hopefully, some discussions or arrangements can unfold…


Dave August 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Barnard project “walking distance” to the ocean? I’m spending my OB exile at least 1/3 mile west and it’s a 15-minute bike ride for me…


Zen August 15, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Upper Voltaire reminds me of the former name for the African country Burkina Faso: Upper Volta. Upper Volta is/was a pretty bad place to live, malaria, civil war, etc. Maybe I am the only one who remembers. The other association I have is Voltaire the Frenchman’s head. Retail below and housing above is something I hope we can see more of.

I am happy to see a coffee company and grocery store open on Newport. I don’t like beer or antiques.


geoff page August 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

The Barnard “apartments” will soon be condos, the request to convert happened some time ago. The city should have at least made the developer rebuild the awful street in front of the place but it doesn’t look like they required it.


Mary Maslanik August 16, 2016 at 8:04 am

I never gave the OB Rag any permission to run any story about my store John Baker Picture Frames. I specifically asked them not too last week. I’m appalled they did so.


Frank Gormlie August 16, 2016 at 10:12 am

Mary, we had a reporter come into your shop, interview you but you said that the only comments you wanted to make public were those on your public facebook. The article is based on those comments.


Mary Maslanik August 16, 2016 at 12:34 pm

I told Meredeth on 8/9/16 at 5:05pm that did not want the story run. And now you posted a thread from my facebook page which you didn’t have permission to post. Please remove the story, and my thread asap.


Frank Gormlie August 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

The reason we reposted the facebook quotes of yours was to show some doubting readers who felt we just “speculating” and were not publishing real news. You did not tell our reporter not to publish anything, in fact, you gave the go-ahead to just use your posted facebook statement – which is what we did.

We cannot remove the story. We stand by its posting.


Mary Maslanik August 16, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Meredeth was told specifically not to run any story about my business. She was told specifically not to share my facebook post with the public. I can’t believe your irresponsibility. What a shame.


Geoff Page August 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Ms. Maslanik,

As South OB Girl put it “Freedom of speech and press is a constitutional right.” No one dictates to the 4th estate. Can you imagine the state of journalism if only permitted stories were allowed to be printed? Joe McCarthy would have had a field day and the Viet Nam War would still be raging.

What I find amazing is your anger over something that was not meant to be harmful or malicious. I think you are doing your business more harm by this display of anger than the story ever would.


Frank Gormlie August 17, 2016 at 11:16 am

UPDATE: As a favor to Mary, we have now taken down the facebook page copies, although we will still have the images, in case anyone questions the source of the article about the possibility of the shop closing.


T August 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

John Baker Picture Frames is still open and has no plans at this moment to close. Of course writing such things doesn’t exactly help a small business trying to survive much. What were you thinking?


Geoff Page August 16, 2016 at 9:10 am

I think that you and Mary are being a little harsh on The Rag. The story was respectful and, if anything, it may have driven more business to your store from loyal customers. Journalists make mistakes and this one can easily be corrected, it was not malicious in any way. As far as giving permission to run a story, that really is not a consideration. Your store is a part of the community and news about it is part of the public domain. Journalists don’t need permission from whoever they write about to do a story. I am sure, knowing Frank, that he will be apologetic and will run a correction. The resultant publicity will be good for the store and it is good news to the folks in OB.


T August 16, 2016 at 9:44 am

Yes NEWS ids part of the community but RUMOR and SPECULATION is not. But it’s nice to see that you are sticking up for the reporting of it under the heading of News. As for your hypothosis that it will be good for the store… what about the person three months from now that needs framing and decides to go elsewhere because they remember reading that John Baker was closing? I’m sorry but this was irresponsible and it saddens me that you are defending it.


Marc Snelling August 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

The story says the store will have to move or close due to rent increase. So if this is rumor and speculation what is the real story?


Frank Gormlie August 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

Our story is based on Mary’s own words.


T August 16, 2016 at 5:31 pm

The real story is that at this point there is a valid lease in place and there is no plan to close the store. OB Rag has taken the fears of a local business owner dealing with an uncomfortable situation and chosen to make it news. She expressed her fears and apprehension to someone she considered her friend and on her PERSONAL Facebook page (not the business page, her personal age) and decided to ramp it up to a point that does not exist and create their own news. The fact of the matter is that John Baker Picture Frames has no current plan to close and has no current situation that would require it to do so so I am absolutely baffled as to why OBRag has decided to stand by an ABSOLUTELY FALSE story. Beyond that, it’s really no ones business and is patently irresponsible for anyone other than the persons on the lease to speculate as to what may or may not happen in the future.

As a former writer, it baffles, saddens and infuriates me that OBRag would not only print this without directly contacting the business owner and would further refuse to retract an incorrect story when informed that they are “printing” erroneous and damaging information about a small independent local business. Freedom of of the press is an important value but it comes with responsibility and it seems to me that this whole mess is about OBRag waving the flag of privilege while accepting no responsibility. It’s giving “rag” a meaning I don’t think it ever wanted to have.


Geoff Page August 16, 2016 at 10:22 am

I am sticking up for journalism. You say it is rumor and speculation, perhaps you could explain that. The Rag is very good at citing sources and, if they include something they might be unsure of, they say so and ask for others to chime in. So, maybe one person reads the story and doesn’t come in. The fact is that the story gives publicity to the store and that will probably bring in more people to make up for one or two possible losses. I’m not defending irresponsibility, I just don’t agree that it was so. I’m defending a local on-line newspaper put out there by folks who make virtually nothing from it that does a great job of informing the OB community. Mistakes are made. But, judging by Frank’s responses, it appears the foundation of his story was good. And, I repeat, there was nothing malicious about it, The Rag does a good job of promoting OB businesses operated by local folks, they do not try to tear people down.


Mary Maslanik August 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Trust me. They were told not to run any story about my business. I have evidence of that. They ran one anyway without consulting me, or contacting me… that’s being irresponsible. I’m not so sure you can call anyone at the OB Rag, a True Journalist.


Frank Gormlie August 16, 2016 at 10:16 am

Our reporter even made a clarification in a comment posted above: “John Baker is STILL open for now. And perhaps, maybe, hopefully, some discussions or arrangements can unfold…”

Clearly, there was no malice involved, and we even stated: “We’re sad to hear that the store, John Baker Picture Frames on Point Loma Avenue in south OB, is closing.”


T August 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm

But you are missing the point. There is a valid lease in place and there no plans to close the store.


south OB girl August 16, 2016 at 10:31 am

The story re John Baker started off as an effort to generate conversation and community support for some difficulties being faced by a local business loved by many. Long time customers and neighbors — feel free to wander to the store and hear updates yourself. And perhaps you will hear more details than The Rag printed here. The Rag was given specific information and this story printed here reflects the scope of that information.


South OB Girl August 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

Freedom of speech and press is a constitutional right. So I wouldn’t start going that route… I am working to clarify what information was obtained from a public Facebook page. And from others in the community…


Frank Gormlie August 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

Please see the ADDENDUM inside where we have posted pages of the public facebook in question. We also state:

Our brief story above about the possibility or probability of John Baker Frames closing due to rent increases was based entirely on what Mary Maslisnik posted on her public facebook. Since our integrity has been questioned by a couple of readers, we now post those facebook statement by Mary – before she took it down within the last few minutes today (8/16/16 11:23 am)

We believe as citizen journalists (we’re not getting paid either) that the closing or potential closing of a popular business is news, and for our small village, it is especially news-worthy. We stand by our report and are not issuing any apologies.


Debbie August 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm

There is a big for lease sign on the building. It is listed for lease with the following stated:
Space Available: 5,300 SF
Rental Rate: Negotiable
Retail (Other)
Date Available: Jun 2016
Rare Large Space Availability Total Space Available: 5,300 SF (Ground Floor 4,000 SF + Mezzanine 1,300 SF)
New Ownership
Remodel in Progress
High Ceilings with attractive truss supports
Onsite Parking


Mary Maslanik August 17, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Thank you for removing my Facebook Post Frank. I’m not sure how you decided that posting this article was going to help my business…. all you accomplished was driving a few more nails into my coffin….. especially when the first title of the article was posted. Maybe you should think twice about harming a business, after the owner asked the reporter not to release any story whatsoever. I support our Freedom of Speech, but it should be handled with morality, ethics, and the facts.


Frank Gormlie August 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Mary, we have decided to remove the paragraph and addendum that referenced your business in the interests of keeping the peace, not because we were threatened with legal action and not because we didn’t have the right to – but in the interests of simply keeping the peace.

Now, please refrain from continuing to deny what happened. Let’s give it a rest, shall we?


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