Encinitas to invite proposals for Pacific View ‘operating partner’

Groups looking to transform the Pacific View property into a community gathering spot will soon be able to submit proposals.

The Pacific View subcommittee on June 29 announced that it will invite letters of intent — tentatively in the July 10 to July 31 window — for an “operating partner,” which will be responsible for designing, rehabbing and running the 2.8-acre Pacific View site. Eventually, the Encinitas City Council will select one operating partner.

Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer, who is on the subcommittee with Councilman Tony Kranz, said various groups have asked questions and expressed interest in the role.

“Until someone signs on the dotted line and says, yes I want to propose this and here’s what I’m proposing to do, we can’t know how to proceed,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer said once letters are received, the council could launch a competition among potential operating partners, or it could enter into exclusive negotiations with an operating partner that achieves community consensus.

An operating partner’s plans should revolve around arts, education and community gathering spaces — uses that the council agreed on in April.

The subcommittee also stated a workshop will be held, tentatively on July 20, for prospective operating partners to link up with possible tenants and people interested in helping them.

At least one group has publically announced it will submit a letter of intent. After the meeting, Garth Murphy with the Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance said the group wants to rehab the Pacific View buildings with performing arts, visual arts and other uses in mind.

With the letters of intent, the city at this point isn’t looking for a full-on operating plan, but rather a five-page overview of the vision and financing strategy, Shaffer said. Letters should also include the operating partner’s qualifications.

She said operating partners willing to fund most or all of their plans would have a better shot of being chosen.

“Your chances of success would be better,” Shaffer said. “But we don’t want to constrain anybody from any creative proposals.”

To inform a vision, an operating partner can turn to architectural drawings depicting alternatives for fixing up the property. The council awarded the firm Westberg & White a $70,000 contract in April for the architectural work.

Instead of the city completing the Pacific View revamp, the council approved the operating partner concept to speed up site rehabilitation. After the meeting, Councilman Tony Kranz said a date hasn’t been set for when the council will select the operating partner.

The operating partner will oversee the Pacific View site until a long-term plan for the site gets off the ground. After the meeting, Kranz said a long-term plan is likely far off, since any ideas would need funding and community support.

The city bought the Pacific View site, located at 608 Third Street, from the Encinitas Union School District last year. When the property officially changed hands six months ago, the subcommittee launched to tackle potential uses and guide the site restoration.

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