Holiday Greetings: Next Metro San Diego CDC Meeting on January 29, 2018


Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! 

The next meeting of the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation (“Metro San Diego CDC”) will be on Monday, January 29 2018.  The meeting be held in the St. Paul’s Cathedral Guild Room, at 2700 Sixth Avenue, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. At the November 15, 2017 meeting; the Metro San Diego CDC Board of Directors voted unanimously to move forward with determining the feasibility of forming a maintenance assessment district along Fourth & Fifth Avenues in Bankers Hill.  The final boundaries will be decided as part of the review process.  The initial study area will extend along Fourth & Fifth Avenues from Upas Street to Elm Street.  The Board of Directors also voted to serve as the formation committee for the proposed new MAD, and is currently working with city staff to move the process forward.

Leo Wilson


Metro San Diego CDC



Olive Street Park — KUSI Turko File Reports

On December 5, 2017, the consultants hired by the city to design the Olive Street Park site, KTU+A, will make a presentation at Uptown Planners.  The future park will be named the “Woods/McKee Park” after the family that donated the land almost 100 years ago.  Below are three investigative reports by renowned  KUSI Reporter, Michael Turko, who played a major role in the process of demanding the land donated by the Woods/McKee family finally used for its intended purpose — a public park.


Original Turko Story from 2008:


Turko Story from 2010:



Turko from 2014:














Waldo D. Waterman Park Ribbon-Cutting — Pictures

The Waldo D. Waterman Park was dedicated on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.  Speakers at the event were Councilmember Chris Ward; Herman D. Parker, Director of Park and Recreation, City of San Diego; James Kidrick, President/CEO San Diego Air & Space Museum.



Here is a brief biography of Waldo D. Waterman:




by Leo Wilson

On October 25, 2017, the “Waldo D. Waterman Park” will be dedicated.  The new park is at the corner of Maple Street and Albatross Street, and overlooks Maple Canyon.  On July 1, 1909, less than six years after the famed Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, 15-year old Waldo Waterman flew a homemade hang glider from off the south rim of Maple Canyon into the canyon bottom. Some sources say he “swooped” into the canyon.  He actually made several flights, before returning to his garage and working on a plane with an engine. The spot he took off from on the canyon rim is included within the new park that is named after him.

The 9,000 square foot park site was formerly known as the “West Maple Canyon Mini-Park.”  On May 18, 2017, at the request of Uptown Planners, it was renamed after Waldo Waterman.  For over a decade it had been assumed the park would be named after Waterman.  On May 18, 2007, the Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association included it as part of its recommendations for how the new park should be designed. The recommendations also requested that: “A historic image of Waldo Waterman should be placed in the center of the site to commemorate the historic figure.”

That historic image will be an existing plaque that was placed at the west end of the park site on July 1, 1959, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Waterman’s flight. The plaque was placed by the “Early Birds of Aviation”, a national aviation organization, and the San Diego Historical Society.  The mayor of San Diego and other dignitaries were in attendance, as was Waldo Waterman himself, who spoke at the event.  The day prior, Waterman, who was still a licensed pilot, flew again over Maple Canyon.

In 1911, shortly after his first flight, Waterman became involved in a project to develop a new hybrid airplane/car/boat – know as the “whatsit” airplane. An owner could: “drive his amphibian aircraft away from the landing field or water.”  It got its name because when people first viewed it, their initial question was: “What is it”?  Waterman worked on the project for several decades, but eventually it was abandoned and the prototype plane donated to the Smithsonian Museum.  Waterman went on to become a TWA pilot, but at the same time continued his inventive work in aviation.

Waldo Waterman was not the only famed aviator associated with Bankers Hill.  In May 1927, a young 25-year old aviator left his temporary residence on Maple Street in Bankers Hill, only a few blocks east of Waldo Waterman Park, and flew a small plane that had been manufactured in San Diego to Paris.  His name was Charles Lindbergh.

The dedication of Waldo D. Waterman Park will take on October 25, 2017, from 10:30-11:00 p.m., at the park site.  There were dozens of people in Bankers Hill that helped make this park happen; and thanks to everyone involved.

Here are pictures of the new park:






AIDS Memorial Task Force Meeting To Discuss Design of San Diego AIDS Memorial on August 28, 2017; 6:00 p.m., in the Great Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral

AIDSMemorial Logo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – As part of their commitment to creating a lasting tribute to the families whose lives have been forever changed by AIDS and HIV, the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force will hold a public meeting Aug. 28 to provide a status update on the project and call on members of the public to submit design ideas for a memorial in a new Bankers Hill park.

The task force was created in 2015 with a mission to plan and raise funds for the creation of a permanent AIDS memorial in San Diego. The 19-member volunteer task force, which includes leaders from the HIV/AIDS service providers and LGBT community, is co-chaired by San Diego first lady Katherine Stuart Faulconer and City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez.

More than 8,000 people from across San Diego County have died from AIDS. The memorial is intended to be a place of reflection and meditation as well as raise awareness that there still is not yet a cure.

The task force voted unanimously to focus their efforts on placing a future memorial in Olive Street Park last year following the Truax House sale.

With the support of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, the City Council last year unanimously voted to authorize the sale of the Truax House, the first AIDS hospice in San Diego. The sale was approved with the caveats that the historic home would be restored by the buyers and that funds from the sale would be used toward the construction of Olive Street Park, which would become home to San Diego’s first AIDS memorial.

Since then, the City of San Diego has held multiple public meetings about the preliminary designs of Olive Street Park and received input about what amenities the surrounding community would like to see in it. With that information in mind, the task force is now ready to call on the public for memorial design concepts that can be integrated into the park’s architecture.

At the Aug. 28 meeting, the task force will listen to the public ideas as well as outline the process by which people can officially submit their design concepts so they can be voted on next month.

The meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. Great Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103.


Bankers Hill Business Group Mixer at Wet Stone Wine Bar Cafe on July 25th: Pictures

20170725_174610_resizedThe Bankers Hill Business Group Mixer met at Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe on July 25, 2017; 20+ people in attendance. The plans were discussed for the Bankers Hill Fall Festival, which will be held in October 2017. Wet Stone Wine Bar & Cafe has outstanding food; and the sangria at Wet Stone may be about the best in San Diego.  The address is 1927 Fourth Avenue, across the street from the Sharp Medical Center.


Truax House Tentative Map Approved by Planning Commission

On June 1, 2017 the City of San Diego Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Truax House tentative map.  The approval was important step in the preservation of the historic Truax House, which was the original AIDS hospice in the City of San Diego, and one of the first in the United States. As part of the tentative map lot split, the Truax House, which has been historically designated, will be preserved on its own lot.  The Truax House property came close to being sold in early 2016 as surplus property by the city, and faced potential demolition.  The Metro San Diego CDC played a major role in its preservation, and solicited noted architect Soheil Nakhshab to purchase the property with the intent to preserve the Truax House in 2016.

Here is a link to an Uptown News story about the approval of the Truax House tentative map.  http://sduptownnews.com/subdivision-truax-house-property-approved/

Nakshab Development & Design has received numerous awards for its projects, including the one pictured below at 540 Otsego Drive. 


Below are two pictures of the interior of the Truax House



Next Metro San Diego CDC Meeting on Monday, May 8, 2017, 4:00-5:00 p.m.




12 September 2016

Draft Meeting Summary

Board Members Present: 

Bud Alessio, Fifth Avenue Financial Center; Jake Sutton, Bankers Hill Business Group; Michael Seidel, Century Plaza Tower; Bruce Leidenberger, La Jolla Pacific Properties; Jennifer Pesqueira, Five Points/Middletown Business Association; Beth Jaworski, University Heights Community Association; Richard Ledford, Palm Street Properties/St. Paul’s Manor; Glenn Younger, Graf Lock, VP Hillcrest BID; Bob Daniel, Western Slope Community Association; Bob Grinchuk, Past President, Hillcrest BID


Christine Spalding, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral; Sara Steinhoffer, Sharp Health Care; Tom L. Fox, Bellefontaine HOA

Board/Charter Committee/ Members Present

Gary Bonner, Front Street; Alan Spector, Park Laurel, Balboa Park Conservancy; Don Liddell, Third Avenue; Dale Hess, 2626 Sixth Avenue; Leo Wilson, Sixth Avenue & Maple; Chris Cole, Western Slope Community Association; Dan Piper, Sixth Avenue; Jay Newington, Sixth Avenue; Jerry Kleinsmith, Park Laurel;Lisa Mortenson, Western Slope Community Association; J.D. Abercrombie, University Height Community Association; Martin Levine, Park Laurel; Jim Chapman, 2626 Sixth Avenue; Paul Meyers, Sixth Avenue, Balboa Park Conservancy; Soheil Nakshab, Fourth Avenue, Architect; John Percy, Albatross Street; Mark Caleb, Park Laurel; Mat Wahlstrom, Hillcrest Roberts Electrical


Chris Ward, City Councilmember Elect; Peter Comiskey, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership; Maxime Ward, SDAR, Open House SD;Susan Friested, SDAR, Open House SD;   Bruce Dammann, Sixth Avenue; Nancy Moor; Ann Garwood; Four other attendees)


President Seidel called the meeting to order.  In the interest of time, Administrator’s did not give a report.

a.) Chris Ward, City Councilmember elect for the Third City Council District, spoke and answered questions regarding his role as city councilmember; his term of office will begin in December 2016.

b.) Peter Comiskey, the Director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, spoke about the activities of the many members of the cultural partnership, and also about issue facing Balboa Park.  Comiskey passed out information regarding the Maker Faire taking place in Balboa Park the first two days of October.  He also spoke on behalf of Balboa Park United, which is a coalition of all 29 park cultural institutions in the Balboa Park, as well as the Balboa Park Conservancy, and other Balboa Park institutions.  Wilson state that the Metro San Diego CDC was working Balboa Park United, and that he was part of the coalition’s steering committee.

c.) Jake Sutton, the director of the Bankers Hill Business Group, spoke on behalf of his organization.  Sutton indicated the Bankers Hill Business group, as a City-recognized micro-district, had been awarded a grant of $10,000 by the City of San Diego; the largest grant of any business district in the city.

The Bankers Hill Business Group will sponsor to events; the first will be a taste event on October 22, 2016.  The second event will be done in collaboration with the San Diego Architectural Foundation, Open House San Diego program, and will be part of an architectural tour of Downtown and Bankers Hill.  The Metro San Diego CDC will also co-sponsor.  The event will take place on March 25 and 26, 2017.  Maxime Ward and Susan Friested, from the San Diego Architectural Foundation, Open House program spoke about the event, and past out a handout about the event.

d.) Soheil Nakshab, Architect, spoke about his plans for the Truax property at Laurel & Union Street; his bid to purchase the property was approved by the City Council on August 2, 2016.  Hakshab intends to preserve the historic Truax House, while developing a remaining portion of the property as residential housing units, including an affordable component.  He also is favorable to obtaining an easement that will allow a trail into the adjacent Maple Canyon Open Space Preserve, should neighboring property owners be agreeable to allowing it over their private land.

Leo Wilson, Administrator, Metro San Diego CDC