The Overture is a development and revitalization project in the heart of downtown San Diego due for completion in 2019. The new development will activate and transform an unused and unsafe part of the City into a new mixed-use space offering retail stores, restaurants, parking and new urban living residences.
The Union-Tribune’s Roger Showley, once wrote, “Downtown’s C Street should be a bustling pedestrian street.” Served by two San Diego Trolley lines, its central business district location beckons for shops, restaurants, residences and businesses. Yet, plagued with eroding sidewalks, a growing homeless population, and unused, boarded up properties, the area has failed to meet its potential as a downtown destination for decades.
That’s about to change with plans that are now underway to help C Street realize its full potential.
The Overture is a fresh concept that will turn an unused and unsafe space into a new community gathering space aimed at encouraging and enabling public interaction in a thriving, dynamic urban environment. At the intersection of Fourth Avenue and C Street, The Overture’s prime location will be the epicenter of the revitalization of C Street.
The Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) is spearheading a “Project C Street” revitalization plan to improve and progress the entire area around 4th and C. Kris Michell, DSDP president and CEO, agrees that, “C Street is too important to the fabric of our Downtown and to our region to continue to turn a blind eye to its issues. We hope that with the help of property owners along C Street and with the community that we can transform C Street into what it should have always been – a vital and engaging civic asset.”
The Overture is working closely with DSDP and its “Project C Street” efforts. As an active player, The Overture and other business owners on the C Street Corridor are engaging and investing in community enhancements that will provide more jobs and an economic boost for San Diego’s Civic Center area while also providing an inviting environment for people to engage with one another over a meal, coffee or shopping.
Currently at the corner of 4th and C Street in Downtown lays an old, decrepit 11-story building known formerly as the California Theatre. It spans the length of a city block and is located right across from major San Diego attractions, such as City Hall, the US Grant Hotel, and Horton Plaza.
Opened to the public in 1927, the building originally served as a theatre for moviegoers. However, upon its closing as a movie theatre nearly 40 years ago, the building has slowly deteriorated into a dangerous, seismically compromised structure that attracts an overflow of vagrants, squatters, rodents, mildew and crime.
Options to restore the theatre have been thoroughly explored, but are not economically viable. The Overture is a comprehensive plan to revitalize this site and one of the most financially feasible plans for this space that will create jobs, generate revenue for the City and save taxpayers money- all while working to improve and progress the entire C Street Corridor in the heart of downtown San Diego.