Real-estate developer David Bourne has scrapped plans for the mixed-use building approved for 801 Pearl St. (the shuttered 76 Unocal gas station) by the City Planning Commission on Aug. 11, 2016. That Alcorn & Benton design featured 12 condos, four retail spaces and an underground garage.
Instead, Bourne said he wants to build 26 smaller apartment rentals (averaging 600 feet each), starting at $1,800 for a studio.
“I don’t think Pearl is the right street for $1.8 million condos,” Bourne told the Light. “I think what’s really needed right now in La Jolla are attractive, new rentals at an affordable price — for teachers, firefighters and police officers.”
Two of the units will be available for less than $1,000 per month to low-income tenants, Bourne said. (Developers of two or more housing units, who set aside at least 10 percent of the housing units as affordable housing for at least 55 years, avoid paying the City’s Inclusionary Affordable Housing Fee.)
Plans for the retail imprint along Pearl Street are also smaller (totaling about 3,000 square feet). And, unlike the previous plan, there will be no underground garage. Instead, the apartments will enclose an interior parking lot for 21 cars.
“There should be an attractive product right here in The Village where people can live and work and enjoy this beautiful place at the same time, without having to get into their cars,” Bourne said. “Looking at Pearl Street today, it’s obvious that many of the buildings are very unattractive and obsolete — especially this particular site, which is a shuttered gas station.“
Some La Jolla residents already object to the new plans, claiming they are part of a state-encouraged plan to fill up coastal communities with as many people, and bigger buildings, as possible.
The issues they may address during upcoming public hearings include the project’s density, lack of parking for every resident, and the added traffic drawn to The Village.
“This is just a start (of such housing developments) if approved,” Bird Rock resident William Humes wrote on the Nextdoor app. “Say goodbye to every building from Dicks Liquor to the Chevron gas station and across street. This will continue on La Jolla Boulevard from 31 flavors to Sea Lane. This will ruin La Jolla as we know it.”
Bourne plans to present the project at an upcoming La Jolla Development Permit Review meeting, though the project has not yet been scheduled.