Horton Plaza Park reopens after almost year delay

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Horton Plaza Park is finally re-opening Wednesday after lengthy delays postponed the project that transformed the front of shopping center along Broadway downtown by almost a year. The grand opening celebration is scheduled for Wednesday night.

The 53,000-square-foot urban plaza will be used as a public gathering place that was part of a $17 million project. Westfield Corp., which owns adjacent Horton Plaza, plans to schedule around 200 events a year at the site.

The park includes three food and beverage pavilions with patios, a booth where tickets can be purchased to local theaters and other San Diego attractions, an amphitheater, a fountain built in 1910, a pop-jet fountain, color-changing light sculptures and free public WiFi.

When work began on the project in November 2012, it was slated for a spring 2014 opening. A series of issues caused construction to drag on, including a delay in getting approvals, uncertainties brought on by the end of redevelopment in the state, and problems with the title to the property.

The area — bordered by Broadway to the north and the shopping center to the south — had been looked upon as a kind of dead zone in the downtown area, used more by the homeless than shoppers. One downtown resident told the City Council a few years ago that the area was an embarrassment.

In the last few years, it has been walled-off because of demolition work that took down the Robinsons-May/Planet Hollywood building, and subsequent construction.

The grand opening will be hosted by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who championed the project while he represented downtown on the City Council, and will include performances by “America’s Got Talent” finalist William Close & the Earth Harp Collective and the choral ensemble Sacra Profana.

The venue’s Park Unplugged concert series will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Thursday with Santana pa Ti, a local Carlos Santana tribute act, along with a disco dance party at 7 p.m.

Categories: Local San Diego News