Six vacant homes in the heart of North Park were demolished Monday – NBC 7 San Diego

Things were very different in San Diego when North Park Baptist Church was founded 100 years ago.

Horses mingled with primitive cars, airplanes, then in their infancy, began to soar overhead, and the neighborhood’s grid of homes slowly began to fill in, including along Bancroft Street and North Parkway.

The church, which settled its campus on North Park Way in the 1930s, has seen many changes in the intervening century, of course, but none may be as dramatic as what seems to be taking shape across the street.

The church, which merged with Makers Church more than three years ago, has been involved in the sale of a large number of properties along Bancroft Street and the alley behind it.

According to a neighbor, the small Craftsman-style cottages and one multi-unit building were occupied until about a year ago, when their occupants were evicted or moved out, and rumors began to spread about a sale. Nature abhors a vacuum, of course, and the Bancroft Street tenements soon fell prey to homeless people who began breaking into the buildings, doing drugs on the balconies and creating safety and neighborhood problems for nearby neighbors.

“I would see the police coming several times at night,” Angie Martinez, another neighbor who has lived in North Park for more than two decades, told NBC 7 in July. “It started getting really dirty, it started making noise, and the neighbors started calling the police because at some point it got out of hand.”

Makers Church Pastor Derek Miller said in a statement this summer that the city is working with people living illegally in empty homes to find shelter in a city-sanctioned facility.

Shortly thereafter, a fence was erected along the property on Bancroft Street, alleviating the problem, at least to some extent.

Then, earlier this week, a new fence was put up, a neighbor told NBC 7. This fence is on all four sides of the Makers Church Bancroft Street property, from North Park Way down five blocks to 3760 Bancroft, then to the alley and back. . It reaches back to North Park Way. The blue-screen chain-link fence obstructing the view of the five detached single-family homes and a duplex looked more menacing, and when two large yellow demolition vehicles from AMG, San Diego’s experimental king, showed up, things got a little more real.

Finally, on Wednesday, Church Makers made it official in a press release:

Makers Church will sell a significant portion of its North Park campus – specifically 35,000 (square feet) of residential land on Bancroft Street consisting of six vacant homes. The homes will be demolished on Monday, November 13. The deal is currently in escrow and is expected to go through It closes with an undisclosed buyer at the end of the year.

This is all happening very quickly: It appears that the demolition permit was submitted less than two weeks ago.

The church said in the same press release that it plans to use the funds raised from the sale to make extensive renovations to the church facilities, including basic repairs to things like heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), but it also plans to open a 1,000-square-foot café. On site which will be open to the public as well as an event space that can be used for private events as well as live performances, including some music performances. Also available: 10,000 square foot child care facility.

This plan will remind San Diegans of rather long memories of Irenic, which was located in the Missiongathering Church on Polk Avenue in North Park and hosted several live shows booked by Casbah and Soda Bar. That church has fallen into the wrecking ball in the last few years.

NBC 7 on Friday reached out to Makers Church for comment on the project but was told no one would be available until Monday to discuss the pending sale.

At this point, the future of Bancroft Way real estate is unclear, but Jessica Wagner, who is affiliated with a group and website called Stop Makers Church and who lives in the neighborhood, told NBC 7 on Friday that after she started posting on Instagram about the site, officials approached her. Church for a meeting that she said she, Miller and others attended.

During that discussion, Wagner told NBC 7, she showed church officials a photo that she said was posted on a website called, a fully integrated real estate company that offers the best services in development and construction. And management and hospitality.” Wagner said the architect’s rendering had a caption that said Bancroft Street and showed an 8-story steel and glass building with a central courtyard and pool that appeared to be configured to closely resemble the building that would be left vacant on the road. A block after demolition In the photo, on the other side of the street, is a building resembling Makers Church, including a three-story tower with a cross attached to it.

Wagner told NBC 7 that the architect’s bid was removed two weeks ago.

NBC 7 reached out to Cedar St. on Friday but has not yet received a response. It is entirely possible, of course, that the presentation is no longer accurate.

However, Wagner said a Makers Church official confirmed that the building in the rendering is in fact what was proposed for the site by the developers.

Among other topics discussed at that meeting, according to Wagner: parking. North Parker said she was told church officials shared her concerns about parking in the neighborhood after construction. In fact, the church owns another property, located on a small corner from the church and across Bancroft Street, which includes another small building and a parking lot with 23 parking spaces. A rendering of the apartment complex shows an entrance to what appears to be an underground garage, but the number of locations it may contain is unknown.

What many are also wondering, in today’s very tight housing market, is: How many housing units will be in any replacement structure or structures, and what percentage of them will be affordable? In Wednesday’s press release, the church may have offered a window into the future:

“In keeping with Makers Church’s mission to serve all sectors of the community, church leaders have taken steps to ensure that the future developer will offer a variety of housing options, with a particular focus on accommodating low- and moderate-income people.”

Without details from the developer, it’s hard to know how this will translate into reality. However, the design with the pool and rooftop garden looks more like an upscale residential complex.

No matter what any new structure or structures look like, they will likely be the biggest change that corner of North Park has seen in a hundred years.

(tags for translation) North Park

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