Building the Plaza, part 3

Presented by Joe Jelley

Approvals from elected officials and official boards appeared to doom the Del Mar Plaza project.

“I remember John Gillies, who was subsequently elected city councilman, coming into our office, pounding his fist on the table and saying, ‘Take 40,000 feet out of the project or we’re going to bankrupt you,’ ” said developer David Winkler.

As a result the entire project was revised and renegotiated, but not with the Planning Commission or City Council, but in local living rooms. Ultimately, a picture on the front page of the Del Mar Citizen depicting cooperation between advocates and opponents of the project won the day.

Del Mar Plaza’s Measure B vote was approved in 1987 by 2 percent, or 41 votes.

Over the years, tension between the pro-development “greys” and the so-called “greens” (anti-development) Del Martians has diminished.

“I’m a lawyer, a developer and a real estate broker, so as far as where I stand in terms of respect of most people, it’s not very high,” Winkler said. But he said there were rewards to the project other than financial.

For example, one woman told him that her father’s remaining days were brightened by sitting on the Plaza deck and taking in the expansive view of ocean blue. The Plaza also won awards for Best Commercial Project in North America from the Building Industries Association and the Best Small Retail Project from the Urban Land Institute.

Real Estate broker Chiquita Abbot, who also put a bid on the Plaza project but had more modest intentions, said that Winkler and fellow developer Ivan Gayler were the right team to take on the project.

Editor’s note: This article, written by Richard Arcello, is reprinted from the “Del Mar Picture Book,” published by Joe Jelley. Contact him at

Related posts:

  1. Building the Plaza, part 2
  2. Remembering.. Building the Del Mar Plaza
  3. Plaza plan gets OK
  4. 2 boutiques open in Plaza
  5. Engagement Announcement: Christine Elizabeth Keays and Chaco Ramsey Clotfelter to wed

Short URL:

Posted by on Nov 12, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Free Tennis and PickleBall offered at Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club during Rancho Days
    Rancho Days is now Rancho Tennis Days at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club. During the 10 days of Rancho Days (Oct. 3-12) the RSF Tennis Club is offering all Covenant-area residents free tennis. This includes many free clinics for all levels, free court time (just sign up at the front desk or call 858-756-4459) and free entry to the end of week mixed tennis to […]
  • Rancho Santa Big Band Orchestra to swing at Village Church
    Big band music blows into the Ranch from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Village Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias. The Rancho Santa Fe Big Band Swing Orchestra, a 17-piece outfit led by professor and former president of the San Diego Musicians’ Association Jack Wheaton, featuring producer and trumpeter Dominick Addario, vocalist and events coordinator Marie […]
  • Auditions to be held at Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe for ‘Rented Christmas’ musical
    The Village Church Community Theater recently announced auditions for “Rented Christmas, the Musical,” from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6 and Tuesday, Oct. 7 at the Village Community Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe. […]