What do you do when the office building you own has lots of empty space because a lot fewer people work there?

You sell it or you rent it. The newly sold San Diego Union-Tribune is going with the latter approach, putting a whopping three floors of its five-story Mission Valley building up for lease.

The challenge will be finding a tenant (or tenants) to rent “highly upgraded executive offices,” “large work areas” and a “spacious exterior terrace” during rough economic times.

Speaking of leasing, San Diego schools have their eye on renting part of the proposed downtown library, turning it into a “schoobrary.” But there’s no consensus on whether this is a good idea from a financial point of view.

We compare how much the new school would cost, per student, to other new schools built. “The bottom line is that it would not be cheap — at least not compared to some of the newest San Diego Unified schools,” our story says.

“I doubt Donald Trump would agree to this,” says one observer. But supporters say the costs aren’t bad for downtown and worth the added value of a library-school combo.

The schoobrary proposal, by the way, continues to move ahead. The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday by 5-3 to approve a non-binding letter of intent with San Diego schools.

Earlier this week, we told you about how San Diego Councilwoman Sherri Lightner had recycled-sewage supporters in a sweat because she wanted to reconsider a crucial vote.

The City Council rejected Lightner’s move on Tuesday by a 5-3 margin. That means an $11.8 million city investigation into recycled sewage — derided by critics as “toilet-to-tap” — will continue to move forward.

In other City Hall news, the U-T reports that four City Council members “called for a clampdown on pedicab operators, citing the deadly ride of a 60-year-old tourist on Saturday.”

If you’re like us, you spent last weekend on the road or in front of a barbecue. Photographer Sam Hodgson took the road option and shares photos from his trip to Arizona and New Mexico.

My favorite is the shot of a well-upholstered family posing for pictures at the Grand Canyon with something less than awe-struck expressions.

Also on our site today, cartoonist Ashley Pingree Lewis suspects that there’s a lot of old-fashioned monkey business going on in the housing market.

Real-estate columnist Rich Toscano is mum on monkeys but finds evidence that the supply of local homes “remains quite low in comparison to anything we’ve seen in recent years.”

Toscano speculates that it’s no coincidence that housing prices are going up.

Those without homes are the focus of a San Diego CityBeat story that finds there’s a hitch in plans for a downtown homeless shelter next winter. The developer known as OliverMcMillin is wobbling on whether to allow the city to use a vacant lot at the corner of 15th and J streets for the second time.

But the city seems to have run out of other options.


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