Santa Fe Depot gets new lease of life

December 24, 2017 by  

The iconic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego has new owners, and they are planning to spend most of next year planning renovations and talking with Amtrak.

Following this, they will start renovating the historic structure, which was built in 1902.

At the moment, Amtrak has the entire building, but it is anticipated that the railroad will consolidate its operations into a smaller space. It will also renegotiate its rent.

The new owners, Ben Shah and his son Alex, are likely to spend at least $2m in the renovation effort, which they hope will be complete by 2021. Among the renovations they are considering are putting a high-end restaurant in the present waiting room, and adding a food court to the plaza at the south end of the building. They would also like to install a rooftop bar where guests can watch the bay, only two blocks to the west, and the second floor could become a boutique hotel. Perhaps the most intriguing idea is the plan to relight the Santa Fe sign with blue neon.

One of the most recognizable features of the depot is its twin towers, which are showing some signs of damage. Plans include partially dismantling the towers in order to repair the structure, and then rebuilding them.

Projects like this appeal to many people, so developers could consider working with a newsletter printing company to create a letter to share progress with residents.