Apparently the link below about the Public Market is only working intermittenly. Here are the main points:
Dale Steele envisioned what nobody else could see.
The former teen fashion model wants to turn the abandoned Old Police Station downtown into a public marketplace and memorial to officers killed in the line of duty.
It would be similar to markets in cities such as Seattle, Boston and Columbus, Ohio, with produce, meats and fish, breads and a variety of locally made foods. Steele spent the last two years and $30,000 of her own money consulting with national public market experts and garnering local support to get the project moving.
Now, several groups, including the Police Historical Association, as well as public and private officials, share Steele’s vision.
“People who move to the downtown area want an urban experience. They want to walk to a public market, they want to know the guy that grows tomatoes,” Steele said. “It’s a city that we fall in love with.”
The San Diego Unified Port District owns the station, which was built in 1939, and the buildings around a central, open-air courtyard. The complex is 4.22 acres.
In 1998, the National Park Service added the Old Police Station to the National Register of Historic Places.
For the market to come to fruition, Steele and her nonprofit, grassroots Public Market Group need approval from the Port as well as to raise the $8 million to $10 million in startup money.
And there are several other organizations lobbying for the building and the land, said Ralph Hicks, director of land use for the Port.
“All along we’ve been receiving a half a dozen concepts,” Hicks said. “A boutique hotel, an aquarium, a restaurant, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a public market, a range of ideas — and we’ve gotten kookier ones.”
The project must improve pedestrian access to the San Diego Bay; preserve the Old Police Station; provide for overall financial feasibility; create an active urban park environment; resolve parking issues and fit in with adjacent Port tenants and land use, Hicks said.
Also, it must be implemented soon and must enhance the aesthetic environment.
Steele asserts the public market plan meets all of the Port’s criteria.
“It’s a gorgeous building and still has three cellblocks. We would retain the blocks and give (them) to the San Diego Police Historical Association to do a museum,” she said.
The public market would include a restaurant, art school, cooking school, special events hall and outdoor tables.
“This concept would be a lifestyle community center. Not only the public market in terms of fresh food like produce and bakery items, meats and fish, wine shops, flower shops and cookware and pie places and cookie places, but it would be prepared food. You could come in as a businessperson and get lunch and eat there on the premises, in the park or courtyard,” she said.