Caltrans makes room for new Old Town park

Posted at 12:24 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 15:24:07-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Caltrans district office complex located in the heart of Old Town San Diego will be torn down in October to make way for history to return: a new park that has been in development for more than 20 years.

Dave Toler with the Kumeyaay Diegueno Land Conservancy says there is currently no other place like it in San Diego. The land was once a village at the heart of the region's Native American settlement at the entrance to the river.

Once the buildings are torn down, it will become two and a half acres of new public open space. There will be a Native American interpretive area, art, walking paths, shaded ramadas and parking.

The budget for the project is nearly $5.9 million and it took more than 20 years for California State Parks to get it approved with partners Caltrans, the Old Town Community and Native American tribal communities.

Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins said, "We are finally going to witness the fall of an old building that has outlived its use and the rise of a magnificent park that respects and reflects San Diego's rich history."

Demolition will begin in October and include "significant hazardous material abatement," according to California Park Service officials. The park is expected to open in fall 2019.