Skate World, a 65 year old landmark, is at risk of closing to make way for "Target-like" store
Skate World, a 65 year old landmark and San Diego's only indoor skating rink, is on the brink of shutting down due to "shady" real estate practices.
According to a report by the San Diego Reader, The City of San Diego is selling the building where Skate World has operated since 1954. Lack of interest in the business was easily ruled out as a reason for its possible closure, as nearly 15,000 people visit the skating rink on a monthly basis.
Skate World manager, Gary Stang—who has operated the family-run businesses since 1975—told the Reader that he was asked to put a bid to buy the building from Civic San Diego, a city-owned nonprofit corporation. When the process ended earlier this year, Stang found out that CivicSD had instead picked to sell the building to a privately-owned international real estate firm.
"It has been very shady,” Stang said of Civic San Diego’s bidding process. “They took some bids, they weren't sharing at all who was bidding or what the prices were.”
The winning real estate firm reportedly plans to build a Target-like store in place of the skating rink.
In regards to the impact the business' closure would have on the community, Stang noted Skate World's wide-range of resources and use.
“We want to keep affordable family entertainment here for everyone. We work with the schools, we work with daycare, we work with nonprofits, we work with the Y.”
Along with school services, the skating rink also regularly gives away free passes and holds free events for residents that can't afford to come in.
Ultimately, the decision will be left up to the San Diego City Council, who will be deciding on the proposed sale on March 18th. An online petition has since been created asking residents to urge the City Council to vote no. The petition, which had a goal of 5,000 signatures, currently has almost 13,000.
"Regentrification: The restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle-class or affluent people, often resulting in displacement of lower-income people," the petition reads. "This is what is happening in Linda Vista, & what Civic San Diego is doing by awarding the bid to Pacifica Companies behind the communities back, without our consensus. Let’s hold them accountable & demand a transparent process that includes our voice!"
You can sign the petition here.