Midway Planners Reject Dixieline’s Request for a New, Reasonable Lease

by on January 20, 2020 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page

The Dixieline Lumber and Home Center store on Sports Arena Blvd. came before the Midway-Pacific Planning Group on Wednesday, January 15, asking for help. They did not receive the help they were looking for.

The subject that garnered the most discussion at the planning group’s first regular monthly meeting of 2020 was the expiration of Dixieline’s lease on May 31.  The company has been at that location since 1967, leasing the land from the city of San Diego.  The city owns the land east and west of the Sports Arena, including the arena and the huge parking lot.  The city has plans for redeveloping all of that property and the fate of all the current tenants will depend on those plans.

The city’s land east of the Sports Arena includes the dilapidated shopping center immediately east, Dixieline, and the old Pier One Imports property now a Salvation Army store.  On the west side is the Sports Arena Village shopping center bordered by Hancock Street.

Dixieline wants a new lease from the city and they want a realistic term for that lease.  The various leases now have different ending dates.  The Sports Arena Village shopping center has a lease that expires in 2029.  The Chik-Fil-A lease expires in 2032.  The new operator chosen for the Sports Arena has a three-year lease with two one-year options for a possible five-year deal.  Dixieline wants a lease that is co-terminus with the Sports Arena Village shopping center lasting until 2029.  They did not get that.

The planning group was reluctant to grant Dixieline’s request because they are eager to see the city’s property redeveloped.  They pointed to that run down shopping center that borders the east fence of the Sports Arena as what worried them. There was a shuttered Black Angus restaurant there for many years, just boarded up and deserted. The city finally had the building demolished.  The rest of the center looks very sad.

The group reasoned that a lease that mimicked the Sports Arena lease made more sense. Their concern was, if both Dixieline and the shopping center on the west side both had leases until 2029, the city wouldn’t do anything for years for the property in between until those leases were up together.

If the Dixieline lease and the Sports Arena lease ended at the same time, the City would have all of the property from the Sports Arena Village shopping center to the Salvation Army property available for redevelopment as a Phase One effort, the group said.  Once the shopping center lease expired, the city could go into Phase Two redeveloping that land.  At least, this was the reasoning.

The group voted to support a lease that matched the Sports Arena and added some supportive language to their motion.  But, Dixieline was understandably disappointed. Having only a possible three-year lease and not knowing if the two one-year options would ever be granted, is not good news for a large business like Dixieline.  Three years for a business is no time at all.  The undeniable impression the group’s vote gave was that they valued future development more than they did this long time local business.

Asked if this might result in Dixieline looking to close the store or move to another location, Dixieline’s representative said, “of course.” He said they would have to begin planning immediately to accomplish anything in three years.

Dixieline is still hoping to negotiate a longer lease; the planning group’s vote is not the end of the issue.  But, if the city does want to give Dixieline the shorter lease, the city can now point to the planning group vote as some of its justification for doing so.

Having lived in Point Loma for 40 years, this reporter was also disappointed that the group was not as supportive of Dixieline as Dixieline wanted.  This is a home-grown company that started in North Park in 1913.  It was sold to a large corporation in 2003 but it started here and was San Diego owned for 90 years.

According to Dixieline’s presentation, the Sports Arena store employs 99 San Diegans.  They pointed out that they spent $2 million modernizing and refurbishing  the property in 2016. They acknowledged that finding another location in the city for such a big store would be very challenging.  It just seems that Dixieline is the kind of business this city should bend over backward to keep productive and secure.  A three-year lease won’t do that.  Unless Dixieline can obtain a longer lease, there will another group of empty buildings on Sports Arena in the near future for sure.

Planning Group Reform

The planning group heard a brief update of the community planning board reform being pushed by city councilmember Scott Sherman and others.  The OB Rag provided a discussion of this reform and the 31 recommendations for reform when it came up before the Ocean Beach Planning Board.  The OB board seriously objected to several of the recommendations and suggested changes to others. Apparently, the city’s land use committee just voted unanimously to approve all 31 recommendations.  So much for OB’s, or any other planning board’s input.

The planning group “reforms” go to city council next, which is not encouraging.  Having seen all 31 recommendations, and having been a planning board member, this reporter can say with some certainty that these “reforms” will make recruiting planning board members infinitely harder than it already is.  The financial disclosure requirement alone will discourage most people.

There is a survey for the public to take regarding planning groups here.  For anyone concerned about planning groups, this might be a good idea.

In other news:

  • The Navy’s representative provided a very brief update on the progress of the plans to redevelop the old SPAWAR complex on Pacific Highway. A Memorandum of Understanding with the city and SANDAG to further the discussion on their plan for a “Grand Central” transportation facility at the site. The Navy created a website specifically for this project here . The Navy recently renamed the property NAVWAR.
  • The city is looking to give awards to people in the community and are looking to the planning board to come up with nominations.  “We’re taking nominations for @CityofSanDiego District 2 Residents and Businesses of the Year! Awardees will be honored at @CMJenCampbell’s State of the District event on 1/30. Submit nominations by 1/20 here .
  • There is another coffee with Councilwoman Jen Campbell February 8 at the Kakawa coffee shop on Voltaire at 10:00 a.m.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Wandering Will January 20, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Dixieline is hard to shoplift from, you cross the street to home depot it’s much easier.


Frank Gormlie January 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm

We now have the good link to the city’s survey on community planning groups.


Muir Avenue Ale January 21, 2020 at 9:38 am

Appreciate the Dixieline history and background. Did anyone mention how much rent Dixieline has been paying? I seem to recall reading around $350K annually, which is kinda-sorta close to what the city charges the Padres to rent Petco Park ($500K/yr). Of course on a square-foot basis, Dixieline pays infinitely more, if my figures are correct, than the amount the Padres negotiated in their sweetheart deal.


Geoff Page January 22, 2020 at 9:26 am

According to the information Dixieline presented at the meeting, their rent is $592,810.44 per year. Yea, the Padres got a deal. On top of that, Dixieline calculated it generates $200,000 per year in sales tax revenue at 1% of taxable sales.


barrett tetlow January 21, 2020 at 5:14 pm

Is there an email for Geoff Page? He will be please to learn the recommendation to require CPG members to complete a financial disclosure requirement (Form 700) didn’t pass the Land Use & Housing Committee. I can send him a list of the recommendations that did pass.


Frank Gormlie January 22, 2020 at 11:05 am

barrett – you can send any communication to Geoff via the OB Rag email: obragblog@gmail.com and we’re forward it to him. Thanks.


Muir Avenue Ale January 22, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Not to change the subject but do you/Geoff still cover the OB Town Council? Do they release their agenda in advance? If so, I didn’t see it on their website. I have tonight off and was thinking of checking it out, but . . . having the agenda beforehand would be helpful. That would be the transparent thing to do.


Geoff Page January 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Editor dude Frank Gormlie usually covers this meeting, I fill in now and then when he can’t. I was surprised to see their website did not have any agendas. I would encourage you to check it out at least once anyway. Their meetings largely consist of a number of government reports from politicians to the police to the lifeguards. Then, they might discuss whatever upcoming public events they have planned. I’ll check with Frank.


Geoff Page January 22, 2020 at 11:10 am

Mr. Tetlow, thank you for the offer. I sent an email to all four members of the committee Monday asking for this information.

“Having seen the list of 33 recommendations, I am puzzled by the “A” and “B” designations in that description. I would like a copy of whatever document this is referring to in order to understand the “A” and “B” designations.”

So far, I have not received a response from any of the four. If you check you boss’s email, I sent it at 5:24 on January 20 and you can get my email address there.


Frank Gormlie January 22, 2020 at 2:22 pm

Ocean Beach Town Council
Wednesday, January 22?7:00 – 8:30pm
Monthly on the fourth Wednesday
Masonic Lodge, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
Description:The OB Town Council hosts public meetings on the 4th Wednesday every month except November and December. Regular speakers include local leaders, political, business and law enforcement representatives, as well as members from all corners of the Ocean Beach community. Whether you’re a long-time OB-cean or just want to learn more about OB, all are welcome!
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OBTC Events
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