Grand Opening of Horton Plaza Park

Kimberly Heaton

On March 4th, City and Civic San Diego officials and Westfield Corporation officially opened the new Horton Plaza Park in Downtown San Diego.  A public ceremony was held to celebrate the $17 million redevelopment of a 1.4-acre urban plaza adjacent to the Westfield Horton Plaza retail center.  KMA assisted Civic San Diego in complex negotiations with Westfield, which involved Westfield selling the site back to the city in return for ending a 25-year profit-sharing agreement related to the mall and parking garage. The former Robinson’s-May department store was subsequently demolished in 2012 to make way for 37,000 SF new civic space, anticipated to be a popular community gathering space for Downtown workers, residents and tourists.  Westfield will be responsible for park maintenance, as well as activating the park with more than 200 events per year.  The Irving Gill Fountain, one of the City's oldest landmarks, was also restored to its original condition from the early 1900s.  Other attractions include an amphitheater for live performances, an interactive pop-jet fountain, and a light sculpture display that change colors.  The park also has food and beverage pavilions, with a Sloan's Ice Cream and Starbucks opening as the first tenants.