Art Pulse has taken a key step toward transforming the Pacific View Elementary site into a mixed-use center with homes, studios, offices and a conference center, according to the North County Times.
“We’ve been banging our heads against this contract for so long now, but I think everyone will be taken care of,” the paper quoted executive director April Game as saying after her nonprofit and the Encinitas Union School District agreed on a $300,000 deposit Art Pulse would pay.
The North County Times said the group’s board of directors would vote on the deal Saturday and go to the Encinitas Union school board Aug. 14. Later, Art Pulse would ask the Encinitas City Council for zoning changes to allow residential and retail uses.
“Getting that approval could be a challenge, though,” said the paper. “Last year, the district tried to get the council to allow residential development there. The council refused, and the district filed a lawsuit challenging the decision.”
The 2.8-acre property west of Third Street is a few blocks south of Moonlight Beach and includes an 1883 schoolhouse, which would be preserved, according to the paper. The school closed in 2003 amid declining enrollment.
An by Jolee Pink said:
The Art Pulse vision for the project includes multiple performance spaces both indoor and outdoor; artist studios for painting, sculpture, ceramics and glass; classrooms; a sculpture garden and roof-top café/garden. The historic school house would be moved to the more visible southwest corner and a row of houses would run along the remainder of the west side.
Art Pulse proposed a bid of $7.5 million for the site, and Game said at a school board meeting the group has about $4 million of that money now.
John DeWald, the local developer behind Pacific Station who joined the Art Pulse project after the organization submitted its proposal to the school district in January, called it “an opportunity to create an iconic institution.”
A found 87 percent of respondents favoring the Art Pulse proposal.