North Chapel Preservationists Are Ringing the Bell – McMillin Has Leased Site and ‘Remodel’ Begins in New Year

by on October 11, 2018 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

Remember the North Chapel at Liberty Station? There was a fight to save it because McMillin & Company wanted to remodel the interior and find a long-term commercial tenant to come in – like a possible restaurant. In response, a group formed – Save the North Chapel – a petition was launched and a community galvanized.

Then back at the beginning of the summer near the end of June, Councilwoman Zapf – in the midst of a re-election battle – appeared to negotiate “a reprieve” and the original announced closure date of June 30 was dropped and the chapel was given 6-months.

Well, as that 6 month deadline approacheth, McMillin is back on its game and North Chapel preservationists are ringing the bell, waving the red flag. The congregations that utilize the Chapel for religious purposes have been told they need to vacate by the end of December. And the remodeling will soon begin after that. Supposedly, the leasing agent for McMillin reports alease has been signed for the North Chapel.

Preservationists fear – and rightly so – that any “remodeling” will be actually a gutting of the church’s interior.

Ron Slayen – who began the fight to save North Chapel back in February – and who was the one who brought the issue before the Peninsula Community Planning Group – now is rekindling the campaign as he reports CBRE, the latest leasing agent for McMillin, has just confirmed a lease has been signed on the North Chapel and that the congregations have to get out by the end of the year. Ron adds, in an email to the OB Rag:

 Any changes to the interior of the North Chapel would be in clear violation of the Secretary of the Interiors Guidelines that protect historic structures on the National Registry.

Ron is very concerned as he says “due to continued secret meetings, no one has been able to find out who the new owners of the lease are.”

He adds that even the City of San Diego doesn’t know. This despite that McMillin is required to work with the city if any changes take place in this lease.

No formal inquiry into all of this can take place, Ron says, until one of the Councilmembers or the Mayor requests a formal investigation.

He is also is –

“pushing in all quarters to open the NTC Foundation Board meetings (we as artists are refused entry!) and to view their minutes.  In particular, I want to know how this Board handed over control of the North Chapel to McMillin, who pursue profits over all.”

And expect to see Ron at an upcoming Peninsula Planning Board again to reinvigorate their support to Save the North Chapel.

The Petition is still alive – and by the way – now has 1900 signatures.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric October 11, 2018 at 4:01 pm

This would be a very cool food hall welcome to all.


John Heltsley October 11, 2018 at 5:59 pm

What a shame and disservice to all sailors who used this chapel for years. I went there for Sunday services when I was in boot-camp in 1959 and was married there in 1974. For years service members have used this chapel and it should remain a place of worship. I was under the impression that building on the National Registry could not be changed at all. I guess that when it comes to “making profits” companies like McMillin have no shame whatsoever.


Bonnie Nangle October 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Jim D. October 25, 2018 at 8:52 pm

Over the years there have been so many violations of the original “Final Plan” and all the restrictions on deeds and etc! Why is it that no one has taken the complaining and difficulties to the point of “legal action”? The developer was not suppose to do a lot of things they did! They were suppose to do a lot of things they didn’t! The deed to the North Chapel states “This property shall be used and maintained for the public purpose for which it was conveyed in perpetuity, as set forth in the Program of Utilization Plan” contained in the application submitted by the grantee (McMillin). How is it possible for McMillin to ignore that or for any transfer or sale that violates that be legal! Who is going to step up and hold their feet to the fire?


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: