320 W. Cedar
Architect / developer Jonathan Segal asked Civic San Diego to build a 36-unit, 87-foot-high, eight-story, all-studio apartment complex on a suspected historic site at 320 W. Cedar Street in the Little Italy. It would also include an attached four-story single-family home. If approved, construction would begin approximately in February 2017, and be completed in a year.
Architect’s vision for 320 W. Cedar
The development requires a site development permit because the builder is proposing to demolish a historic structure on the property. This is the Oscar M. Hillard, Queen Anne architectural style house, registered as number 282 in 1990 with the City’s Historical Review Board.
Save Our Heritage executive director Bruce Coons did not mention any planned protests, but said the project “sits in the most untouched block of Victorian houses in the city center.”
The dilapidated house has two entrances, with another front door at 1610 Union Street. A nail salon recently left the property; it sold in June for $ 1,850,000 and is now surrounded by a privacy fence.
The developer is asking for an exemption as there will be no parking (although the four-story structure would have two parking spaces). To avoid the usual parking required in apartment buildings, the developer applied for an incentive through the city’s affordable housing density bonus program.
Under this requested exemption, two of the 400-square-foot studios would be leased to very low-income tenants. According to Brad Richter, CivicSD’s assistant vice president for planning, parking for apartments is “typically 0.5 spaces / unit required for a small lot like this.”
Gary Smith, president of the San Diego Downtown Residents Group, sees it differently. His response on August 31 was, âYes, sigh; anything that is “affordable”, you can forgo almost anything. “
Matthew Segal, of the architectural firm, told the Reader: âThe project would not be feasible with a parking lot. The whole project should change. It promotes walking and alternative means and methods of transportation, instead of providing parking. “
While LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings are all the rage, this structure will not meet the criteria but will have solar panels on the roof. âWe don’t believe in LEED or its process,â Segal said. “The process itself essentially taxes the building and the designer, in order to jump through hoops and loopholes to rack up points.”
A public meeting of the Downtown Community Planning Council’s preconception subcommittee is taking place on September 13 at the offices of CivicSD. A meeting of the CivicSD Design Review Committee will be held on September 14, at the same location.
Subsequent design review meetings will follow with Civic San Diego and the Downtown Community Planning Council; the Civic San Diego Board of Directors and Planning Commission will make the final decision.
A recently completed Jonathan Segal project was the Mr. Robinson mixed-use residential building. Another project, with parking, is under construction at 4075 Park Boulevard in Hillcrest.