SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After years of neglect, vandalism and even fire, preliminary development plans have been revealed for two dilapidated but historic cottages across from La Jolla Cove.
Development firm Alcorn & Benton has submitted plans to the city rehabilitate the cottages, called Red Rest and Red Roost, into commercial uses. Additionally, they plan to build an eight-unit, four story condo building with underground parking.
In a statement, the firm said the project would aim to preserve the integrity and unique aspects of what it called a unique and complex site.
"We are in preliminary stages of contemplating a long-term course of action for the Red Roost, Red Rest, and surrounding property," the statement said. "We will be reaching out to the community to engage in a thoughtful process before proceeding with any projects or updates to the property."
Built in 1894, the city declared the cottages historic in 1976 -- meaning the owner, the late Jack Heimburge -- who owned the adjacent La Jolla Cove Hotel, couldn't redevelop them into apartments. He instead let them fall into disrepair. In his will, Heimburge split the ownership among his heirs. An ensuing legal battle over the property finally settling in 2018.
And if clearing that road block to redevelopment wasn't enough, one of the cottages mysteriously caught fire in 2020. All the while, questions circulated about what was next.
"I hope they can restore it so that it's something back to the original state, or at least close to that," said Bridgette Carmody, who works in La Jolla. "It just looks like a termite building right now."
On Thursday, one of the cottages was still charred from the 2020 fire, while another was covered in a tarp. The city says it will consider the proposal at a future public hearing.