Help is on the way for people looking for parking and green spaces in San Diego's East Village, but, if the city's plan to build a new garage and park comes to fruition, it won't be cheap for taxpayers.
Photos: East Village Park Approved with $80M Price Tag, 16 Years After Original Design
Sixteen years after the East Village Green park project was envisioned as part of the April 2006 updated Downtown Community Plan, the San Diego City Council recently approved an addition to its budget, which has swollen to nearly $80 million for its construction.
A large portion of the project's overall project cost will be for a two-level underground 185-space structure that will be built at an estimated cost of a little under $35 million — that breaks down to a cost of $188,374.49 per parking space.
The park, originally described as a 4.1 acre, multi-block park, would span the area between F and G streets, bordered by 13th Street to the west and 15th Street to the east. The park would be split by 14th Street, which could be closed on weekends and during special events at the park.
The original design, part of 2006's Downtown Community Plan, included large grassy recreation areas with an informal amphitheater as well as the possibility of a café, a playground, an area for farmers' markets and a neighborhood center.
After years of delays, the project was approved by the San Diego City Council in December 2019, estimated then to cost a little more than $52 million and expected to include a 14,000-square-foot two-story recreation and community center, a playground with splash pad, off-leash dog parks and a passive game/reading area.
City council members though, this month OK'd an additional $27.3 million for the budget, due to increased building costs, etc., bringing the project total to a near $80 million price tag. That amount also factors in what the city will pay to relocate two homes currently on F Street, designated by the city as historic structures.
Several of the original planned amenities for the park — the west park's café building and the east park's Bark Bar, as well as a decorative shade structure over the performance pavilion — were redlined, however, in the final proposal, and the decorative fencing that was proposed has now, sadly, been downgraded to chain link. The downgrades save the city more than $2.5 million
The approval of the additional funds effectively serves as the city's green light for the project; the city's non-profit independent planning agency, Civic San Diego, solicited bids for construction on Phase 1 of the project in the summer of 2021.
The project is expected to take form in multiple phases, with construction on Phase 1 potentially kicking off in August 2022, as long as the project is awarded by the end of the month.