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California Theatre Preservation Action Update

1950s. Photo courtesy San Diego History Center

The Historical Resources Board (HRB) reviewed Sloan Capital Partners' development proposal for the California Theatre site, and opposed (5-3) the staff's recommendation to allow demolition of this iconic downtown landmark.
SOHO is very grateful to our members and supporters who sent letters, made calls, and attended to oppose this demolition. The numerous speaker slips that were submitted in opposition strongly illustrate the theater and its murals are uniquely special to San Diegans. Oral testimony was given by a number of individuals including SOHO board members, the executive director, and staff.
SOHO member and local developer, Peter Janopaul, explained his long time interest and brought copies of his multiple offers to acquire the California and rehabilitate the theatre as part of a new project, and expressed his continued interest. SOHO pointed out other known offers from preservation developers as well. Many of the comments pointed out the various flaws in Sloan's proposal, such as CEQA requirements to retain the building if the project will still profit (Alternatives 2 and 3); an economic analysis that does not apply any historic preservation tools; the proposed reconstruction of the office tower does not adhere to the Secretary of the Interior Standards; and that there has been no investigation into adaptive reuse options.
SOHO also wants to thank the members of the HRB who understand there are substantial flaws in this development proposal and, through their vote, opposed demolition of the California Theatre.
Coming up next for the California Theatre and its murals is the Planning Commission meeting, to be scheduled in February. This will be followed by the City Council meeting likely in March. It's important to continue to show both written and oral support for the California Theatre as it goes through the entire Site Development Permit process to demonstrate to city officials that San Diegans will not allow the loss of this iconic landmark. We will keep you apprised of next steps and dates once we have them.