SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Eric Heinz
The plans to turn the Miramar Theater into a boutique restaurant hub and events center could come before the Planning Commission by mid-May, according to the man who has championed the project since last year.
Wayne Eggleston, who is himself a planning commissioner and will have to recuse himself when the proposal does come before the commission, said during a subcommittee meeting last week historic aspects of the plans were discussed.
Eggleston said the state of affairs at the theater are pretty grim. The company that owns the Miramar—Miramar Theater, LLC.—had already planned to demolish and replace much of the bowling alley portion of the structure.
“You can’t spend much time in there, and the mold is just awful; it’s not very healthy to go in there,” Eggleston said.
Eggleston said that there are still gorgeous features from the theater’s original construction, such as large support beams and lanterns within it.
In order to be considered for the National Registry of Historic Places, the developers will have to prove multiple items. Such things include what will be replaced, maintained or renovated, and Eggleston said they want to be able to foresee as many obstacles as possible to avoid running into problems, like what happened with the Ole Hanson Beach Club—a project in which the city went nearly $5 million over budget.
“Obviously (as a historic structure) we want to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (basic requirements) and in order to do that, we have to … cross our Ts and dot our Is.
“I think it’s important to go after the (parking) waivers, and once this thing is operational and gets going, then we can see what we can do with parking,” he said.
Eggleston said the project will look to receive up to 80 parking waivers, a concession similar to what Casino San Clemente received when it became operational again, Eggleston said.
The Planning Commission has not yet slated the project at a future meeting, but SC Times will provide more information when it becomes available.