Planners approve demolition plan for Conrad arts center construction
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 10/09/15 - 07:06 AM | 3713 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In October, La Jolla Community Planning Association, which makes land-use recommendations to the city, unanimously approved permitting to demolish an existing building at 7600 Fay Ave. which is to be replaced by The Conrad, a 44,014-square-foot, two-story performing arts center.

The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, also known as The Conrad, is designed to enrich the cultural life of San Diego and will be the permanent home of La Jolla Music Society. It is to include a 500-seat concert hall and a 150-person cabaret/multi-use space designed to accommodate a wide variety of activities and performances. It will also be available to the community for events.

Christopher Beach, president and artistic director of La Jolla Music Society, addressed trustees giving a slideshow presentation introducing the project and answering questions.

Beach noted that The Conrad has secured more than enough parking spaces in nearby parking garages to accommodate all patrons attending the theater for evening performances.

“Our project will be a cultural centerpiece for our community, and it will make a major contribution to the quality of life in La Jolla,” Beach said, adding the new theater complex will have exceptional acoustics.

Beach said the goal is to have The Conrad open by January of 2018.

Association board members were all in on approving an easement vacation and permitting for the project, which it is hoped will create a new entertainment district in the heart of La Jolla. The Lot, a boutique restaurant and theater, opened across the street on Sept. 29.

“The community is fortunate to have this opportunity (for a public theater),” said trustee Tom Brady.

Trustee Jim Fitzgerald noted the project will be a perfect fit in the heart of the Village, pointing out its bulk and scale has been designed appropriately for the neighborhood.

“This is the most interesting thing that’s happened to our community in many years,” said trustee Ray Weiss, adding, “I think we should just cut to the chase and approve it.”

More information is available at theconrad.org.

In other action:

• After lengthy debate, association trustees were unable to arrive at a consensus on whether or not an addition proposed for the Kaplan-Gaston residence at 5606 Dolphin Place in Bird Rock as designed would provide an appropriate “transition” to adjacent properties, one of which is a historic home. The issue was remanded back to an LJCPA subcommittee for reconsideration.

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