Waterfront Parking Where It Belongs: Underground

Ribbon cutting for 250 space public garage at County Administration Center

What was once a huge parking lot on the south side of the historic County Administration Building is now being transformed into San Diego’s newest Waterfront Park.


Supervisors officially cut the ribbon for the County Administration Building's new underground parking


Speaking to the crowd at the ribbon cutting.

Buried beneath it is a new public underground parking garage, measuring 96,000 square feet and containing 250 parking spaces. On Sept. 24, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors officially cut the ribbon for the new garage.

The majority of the garage spaces, 178, are dedicated to the public. That total matches the number available to the public prior to park construction removing two surface asphalt lots.

Much of the soil that was removed to make room for the garage is being used to create the expansive waterfront park. Some was shipped out to Santee for use in the construction of a new women’s jail.

When completed in spring 2014, the 15 acre waterfront park will feature a variety of special places, including a long shallow fountain facing Harbor Drive that travels nearly the entire length of the property and has jets to shoot water 14 feet into the sky.

When President Theodore Roosevelt visited San Diego early in the 20th century, he left these words behind:

“I hope that you of San Diego keep your waterfront and develop it so that it may add to the beauty of your city. Do not let a number of private individuals make it hideous with buildings, and then force your children to pay an exorbitant sum to get rid of the ugliness they have created.”

A few decades later, when the president’s fifth cousin, President Franklin Roosevelt, visited San Diego to dedicate the County Administration Center on July 16, 1938, not every planned feature of the building he helped fund was complete, including the park.

Yes, sometimes government works slowly. But soon we will be realizing a long-held dream.

Stay tuned. You are all invited to join in the opening celebration.