Ebers – Greene Project to Be Remodeled into 2-Story Single Family Residence

by on August 15, 2019 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

It started Wednesday, the 14th of August – the remodel of the infamous Ebers-Greene project at 2269 Ebers Street. Workers were noticed on the site and up on the top floor removing wood. The boarded-up, 3-story monstrosity has stood on that corner for a long time, an albatross around the neck of the northeast neighborhood of Ocean Beach.

And there’s a long story behind it for the uninitiated or newly-curious – which we get into below, but it’s just one more chapter of a long saga for neighbors, local planning board members and our readers.

Suffice to say, presumably the same owner who purchased the site now has made a scope change to the permit and is moving ahead with the remodel. There is, we’re told, a combination permit issued in mid-June for an existing 2-story single family residence, which will include a complete remodel to the first and second floors along with a new roof deck. (Project 634951 – Ebers St Remodel;  Geo 52, RM-1-1 N-APP-2, Designated Historic. CE# 239245)

There’s an accompanying Right of way permit to close an existing curb cut with landscaping, sidewalk, curb and gutter. (Project 643747 – Ebers ROW; Issued 07/30/2019).

As we reported Wednesday workers were seen upstairs at the site and told neighbors they will tear down the entire structure and even work on the closed-up house next door – full of asbestos. The City had declared the site a public nuisance and the City forced the owner to close down.

And so, we thought it appropriate to bring back the following post, published originally in October 2018 throwing more light on the issue that the Reader made their cover story by OB writer, Dave Rice.

Reader Explodes ‘Bombshell’ on Latest Developments of Notorious Ebers Project in Ocean Beach

The San Diego Reader – in today’s cover story – exploded a bombshell of news about the latest developments to the continuing saga of the project at Ebers and Greene in northeast Ocean Beach. Dave Rice meticulously pieced together the entire story and history of the project and explained in detail all the financing of the project and all of its unraveling.

At the end of his story, Rice explains how finally a prominent Los Angeles area businessman who created a bakery mini-empire, bought the property for $925,000. And the new owner has a new contractor with new plans and new permits to finish the project – as a single family home. Plus, the new owner has NO plans to bring his project before the Ocean Beach Planning Board.

Does this sound familiar? Nelson, the original owner, also failed to present the project before the community Board. This is horrendous and appears another chapter on this mini-castle is about to be written. Meanwhile Rice reports:

Boyajian, reached by phone in late September, says he has a total of $1.2 million tied up in the property, and is working with a new contractor to complete the construction — as a single-family home. He reports that new permits are currently being reviewed by the city. The project, once again, will not be presented to the community planning board.

This latest bombshell will be unsettling to the property’s immediate neighbors, as the monstrosity has just sat there on a busy corner. They had hopes the city would force any new owner to demolish what was there and start over. Doesn’t sound like the new owner agrees.

Dave’s piece is certainly worth the read, especially for OBceans. He starts:

A long-derided construction project at 2269 Ebers Street in Ocean Beach, spearheaded by Curtis Nelson of Nelco Properties, officially suffered its death blow this spring; after failing to attract a buyer at a foreclosure auction, ownership of the property reverted to Center Street Lending, an Irvine-based hard money lender that specializes in providing financing to “property flippers” seeking to buy low, complete a quick remodel, and resell properties at a significant profit.

Nelco’s ownership of the property – two short blocks off West Point Loma Boulevard and a block east of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard – was frequently controversial — at times the developer bragged on social media about his disregard for the coastal height limit, advertised his development as a two-unit property (it was permitted for only one residence), and drew fire from the community for allowing the property to fall into disrepair after illegal construction was halted by the city. But a dive into the financial history of the property offers an interesting look at how a simple fix-and-flip deal can go horribly wrong.

Nelco originally bought the four-bedroom, two-bath fixer for $645,000 in mid-2015. The home, built in 1927, sits about five blocks from Dog Beach and nine blocks from Newport Avenue, OB’s main drag. Residents here tend to be quieter and more entrenched in the OB lifestyle than the younger, more transient denizens of the neighborhood to the west locals refer to as the “war zone.”

The OB Rag has long covered this notorious project – and Dave acknowledges and applauds our coverage. He quotes this reporter extensively:

“I first learned about the place in late June, early July 2016,” explains Frank Gormlie, publisher of the Ocean Beach-centric OB Rag blog. “Some neighbors had put up a sign and a mannequin wearing a mask to complain about the way demolition was being handled on the smaller existing house.”

After meeting with the neighbors, Gormlie’s site took on a muckraking role, digging up dirt on the owners, the project, and the city. His activities, Gormlie explains over a mug at the Newbreak coffeehouse on Abbott Street where he’s greeted as a local by staff and patrons alike despite having moved from the neighborhood earlier in the decade, would result in increased scrutiny from the local planning board and protesters taking to the street. The topic was his site’s biggest draw for nearly a year.

“We eventually came up with a laundry list of issues — first was parking and whether it met the floor area ratio [a regulation that restricts improved square footage of a building to 70 percent of lot size, significantly lower than in other San Diego neighborhoods], it looked like it was over 30 feet high. But as we looked into it, it turns out there were all kinds of problems. Was this truly an addition, or was it two units?”

The project didn’t appear before the OB Planning Board, which usually offers input on proposed construction in the neighborhood, because it was represented to the city as a remodel of an existing single-family residence in permit applications. Such a classification would have allowed the project to dodge a coastal development permit typically required of beach-area development.

Thing is, Nelco never saw the property as a simple single-family remodel. In a failed attempt to sell the property in early 2016, notes on the expired listing state that the property “will be re-listed once 2nd unit is completed.”

“When you went to Curtis Nelson’s website, there he was very proudly talking about two units. But this was never supposed to be a multi-unit development,” Gormlie argues. “You’ve also got to consider the role of the city’s Development Services department, and the allowances they’ll give developers. Someone was asleep at the wheel on this project to progress to the point you could go in, pull a permit, and a new structure going up three stories before the community wound up feeling so violated they started demanding oversight on their own.

“It turns out there were two sets of plans submitted that didn’t match — and [Development Services] was asked how these could have gotten through and their response was ‘Oh, well they must have been reviewed by different people.’”

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar bobo August 15, 2019 at 9:25 am

I looked up the project # at the City’s Development Services website and this project is designated as a REMODEL. Nothing in the project or the overarching application says anything about requiring a California Coastal Development permit.
So the SAME problem: no oversight by the community. Just ministerial approval for a standard building permit.

This project and it’s developers are somehow, someway, STILL avoiding the very important Coastal requirements by being allowed to designate the build as a “remodel”. The problem is that this 2015/16 construction should have invoked the coastal commission process. It didn’t. Now the same structure that was illegally built is being “remodeled” and again, the project is skirting the regulations.
From what I can see, this project truly is hitting ALL the check-marks of requiring a coastal permit: It’s increasing impact in the coastal zone, it’s in the airport noise abatement zone, it increases the need for off-street parking, it needs to comply with the OB Precise Plan revised in 2015, etc. etc. etc.
There are many many other construction projects in OB that don’t come anywhere close to the impact this one has and have had to undergo the Coastal process. IMO, this project must be re-designated to comply or we’ll have this developer complete a project that violates the law due to a technicality.

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Avatar Paul Webb August 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

Just a reminder to all interested that there are many types of projects that do not require a coastal development permit from the City of San Diego. Most infamous are the four unit “apartment” projects that apply for a condominium map waiver (which does require a CDP) after construction has commenced. The City’s development services department is simply deaf to the wishes of the residents. This must change.

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Avatar Vern August 15, 2019 at 11:56 am

Project 634951 – Ebers St Remodel 448-552-01-00 TR 1167 BLK 23*LOTS 47 & 48

Development Services Department
https://opendsd.sandiego.gov/Web/Approvals/Details/2280590

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Avatar Rufus August 16, 2019 at 8:21 am

“Designated historic”. Wow, did the city drop the ball or what?

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Avatar Martha Goldstein August 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Congratulations, looks like it is going to be lovely!

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Avatar Gerald Barksdale August 19, 2019 at 9:25 am

All,

I am the designer of the corrected project. I am the only one you will get correct information from.

gerald@designbuild-ca.com

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