Murals cover the fading paint on an empty Woolworth building on Oct. 20, 2022, while construction continues on the sidewalk.
Murals cover the fading paint on the vacant Woolworth building on Oct. 20, 2022, while construction continues on the sidewalk. / Photo by Gabriel Schneider

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The city of San Diego is trying yet again to renovate the historic Woolworth building in the heart of North Park. 

The city added the University Avenue property last week to its list of “surplus land” after a development group walked away from the project complaining of costs. But the site’s facelift is still a long way away.

Voice of San Diego intern Gabriel Schneider walks through the history of the project and explains how the end of redevelopment in California and the pandemic have all conspired to keep the Woolworth vacant for years.

Thanks to state law, developers now have 60 days to express interest in renovating the building and would need to reserve 25 percent of the homes in the project for low-income residents if they jump.

If they don’t, the city will be able to seek a traditional sale of the property. 

Read the full story here. 

Friendsgiving Pod 

It’s Friendsgiving on the VOSD Podcast. You’ll find the podcast crew on your feed early this week because of the holiday. 

Hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña were joined by local author, educator and curator of the AwkwardSD blog, Ryan Bradford. The crew gets into changes at Twitter, why the Swiftie army is upset with Ticketmaster, DACA limbo and bike lanes. 

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

The San Diego Ties to Colorado Mass Shooting 

File photo by Tristan Loper

Five people were killed, and dozens were injured, Saturday night at a popular LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs after a man opened fire at the patrons inside. 

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is in the custody of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. He is facing five counts of murder and five counts of bias-motivated crimes, The Gazette reports. 

According to Colorado police, late Saturday night, the gunman entered Club Q and immediately began shooting inside the club. At least two people helped bring down the gunman, police said. 

The Army vet who stopped the shooting: Richard M. Fierro, an army veteran, who was at Club Q on Saturday enjoying a drag show with his family, recounted the events of that night to the New York Times. Fierro tackled the gunman and with help from others, disarmed him, and held him until police arrived. Fierro is a former San Diego resident who attended Mira Mesa High School and San Diego State University. The Union-Tribune spoke to San Diego residents who described Fierro as a “die-hard Chargers fan” and “… a solid, family man.”  

East County politician: State Assemblyman Randy Voepel is the grandfather of the accused gunman. The U-T reports that a legislative aide said the assemblyman hadn’t spoken to his grandson in years. Voepel is the former mayor of Santee. 

Local impact: Community members gathered in Hillcrest on Monday for a vigil. San Diego police Chief David Nisleit said the Hillcrest neighborhood can expect to see more police in response to the shooting. The chief, Mayor Todd Gloria and other elected officials spoke to community members in Hillcrest about the shooting. A police spokesman on Tuesday would not say how many officers would patrol the community — only that increased staffing efforts have already begun. 

In Other News 

A note: You won’t receive a newsletter on Thursday or Friday because we are going to spend time with our families, but you will get one on Monday. Thank you for your continued support. 

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Will Huntsberry. 

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