SAN DIEGO, CA-After two decades of disuse, the historic Balboa Theatre located in the Horton Plaza area of Downtown San Diego is now on its way to becoming a live performance venue once again. Plans for the theater’s rehabilitation are shaping up, as the Centre City Development Corp.’s board of directors has approved the project planning guide and associated recommended program and budget for the restoration of the circa 1924 asset. In addition, the CCDC board has also recommended that the redevelopment agency approve an exclusive negotiation agreement with the San Diego Convention Center Corp. to manage the renovated theater. The estimated budget for the restoration is $15.7 million, according to CCDC senior project manager Eli Sanchez, who tells GlobeSt.com that $12.5 million will be allocated for construction costs and $3.2 million for non-construction costs. All of the funds are coming from the city’s redevelopment agency, as administered through CCDC, according to Sanchez. Vacant since the mid-1980s, Balboa Theatre was acquired by CCDC around this same time. “During the time that CCDC was acquiring properties for the Horton Plaza project, we acquired several theaters that were built in the 1920s,” Sanchez tells GlobeSt.com. He says that all the theaters were slated for demolition, with the exception of Balboa Theatre, which was “saved for future rehabilitation.”The renovation will transform the five-story building, which was once used for vaudeville, into a live performance venue. “It will be an operating, multi-purpose, live performance facility,” Sanchez says.Some demolition work on the project will begin in April of 2005, with renovation and restoration to follow in November of the same year. The theater is expected to be open by spring 2007. CCDC has retained Kitchell CEM to act as owner’s representative during the preconstruction and construction stages. Westlake Reed Leskosky has been chosen to provide architectural and engineering design services. The renovation of Balboa Theatre will “virtually complete the Horton Plaza development and it will add to the cultural assets of the city,” Sanchez says. “It’s been an effort by both the redevelopment agency and the stakeholders of the performing arts organization to come up with a program and move forward with the design concept and the necessary funds,” he says, adding that “it’s been a long process, but we’re looking forward to awarding contracts by the end of this month.”

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