Situated between the new Copley-Price Family YMCA and the CVS on El Cajon Boulevard between Fairmount Avenue and 44th Street is a vacant lot, temporarily being rented by Fair@44 and, north toward Meade Avenue, a construction company.
This site sits at the intersection of Kensington, Talmadge, and City Heights — three very different communities with different needs and often opposing development ideas.
About a year ago Price Charities, who brought us the YMCA and countless other development projects around the City Heights area, introduced architect Rob Quigley and told us they were working on plans for the vacant lot. (By us, I refer to the KTPG meetings which are open to the public to attend.)
For those of you who don’t know Rob Quigley, get to know him. He designed the Public Library downtown and lives in a home and office he designed that would be the envy of Batman himself.
San Diego New Central Library. Photo from robquigley.com
Rob Quigley’s home. Photo from sandiegomagazine.com
When I first heard Rob Quigley would be designing what was to be built in, practically, my back yard, I was overjoyed. I first heard Quigley give a lecture at the AIGA San Diego Y Design Conference a few years back. After listening to him speak about the intentionality that he pours into every civic project, namely the library, I was convinced being an architect must be one of the highest professional callings — at least to make a lasting civic impact.
Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing the preliminary drawings and hearing the plans Price Charities and Rob Quigley have been dreaming up. The same intentionality and thought for the less-privileged side of the community he spoke of as he designed the library was all there.
Rob Quigley speaking to a special meeting hosted by the Ken-Tal Planning Group, Feb. 22, 2017
Preliminary drawings presented Feb. 22, 2017
Here are the highlights:
• A civic use space in the front portion of the lot adjacent to El Cajon Boulevard. The footprint of the building nearly half what it could be in favor of park-like space surrounding the building.
• An open lot space separating the front development from the back that could be used as a marketplace, much like fair@44 has been piloting.
• The back/north side development a mix of senior housing and general residential – both affordable and market rate. 195 2-3 bedroom units on floors 2-6, with first floor available for commercial space.
• Residential townhome-type buildings with much smaller footprints are utilized along 44th Street to mirror the existing residential buildings on the east side of the street.
• Rooftop green space is being considered.
Questions or comments? Contact Mark at Price Charities at MDaitch@price-entities.com