A quick update on the effort we’ve been following at the former Naval Training Center to piece together funding to turn historic buildings into an arts and culture district:

The NTC Foundation announced this week it rounded up $20.2 million to renovate eight more buildings. The financing package includes $4.7 million in city redevelopment money, as well as county funding, bank loans and more than $8 million in federal tax credits.

The total includes the $700,000 in additional city funding used to fill an unexpected gap after the foundation found out that it would have to pay government-set “prevailing wages” on all eight buildings.

The nonprofit foundation, which oversees the rehabilitation and renting out of the buildings, renovated seven buildings in its first phase a few years ago. (Those were the buildings that triggered property tax bills from the county that surprised the foundation and threatened to force some tenants to move out before the county issued a partial refund last month.)

After this phase of eight buildings, the foundation will still have 11 buildings left to renovate. The foundation says it has 70 percent of the available space in this current project — 53,188 square feet — spoken for by “an impressive roster of San Diego’s community of artists, galleries, non-profit organizations, and specialty retail.” Crews have started the construction effort and the foundation hopes to open the renovated buildings in spring 2012.

“This is the largest historic preservation project and cultural facilities project underway in Southern California,” said Alan Ziter, the NTC Foundation’s executive director.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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