Dean’s Letter: New Space, New Neighbors

Hello St. Paul’s,

In the next few weeks we will see the completion of 525 Olive, the apartment tower next door to the cathedral, and we will be preparing to move in and begin ministry in our space. Today seems like a good time to fill in some details that you may be wondering about.

First, how will the building be administered and managed?

Nutmeg and Olive, the LLC created by Chapter nearly 20 years ago, sold a portion of our city block to a developer, Greystar, in 2019. The building and courtyard that are now almost complete are owned by Greystar, as is the 5 story parking garage underneath. When construction is complete, Greystar will convey ownership of most of the first floor and one wing of the second floor to Nutmeg and Olive, along with parking rights for 70 spaces and an easement allowing the Cathedral limited use of the Sixth Avenue courtyard. This is in addition to the extensive work Greystar has done to finish our space to our specifications, plus a significant cash payment that the LLC has already received. Nutmeg and Olive will actually own two condo units in the  building, one known as the Office unit, which will include cathedral offices, Guild Room, and other gathering spaces; and the other, known as the Commercial Unit, on the first floor facing Fifth Avenue, which we plan to lease at market rates to a business. The rest of the building will continue, for now, to be owned by a subsidiary of Greystar, and they will lease out the 204 apartments, which include 18 units designated affordable housing for households with less than half the median income for San Diego. St. Paul’s has no role in the selection of residential tenants.

Nutmeg and Olive will in turn lease the Office Unit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, for the very attractive rate of $1 per year. The Cathedral will have control over use of most of the 70 parking spaces, with the exception of a few that may be reserved for the commercial tenant. We expect to rent out some of our parking spaces when they aren’t needed for Cathedral events.

In effect there will be three ownership units in the building: the apartments at 525 Olive owned by Greystar, the cathedral office unit and the commercial unit, the latter two owned by Nutmeg & Olive. With multiple owners, there’s a need for the equivalent of a Home Owners’ Association, to make decisions about the use and maintenance of common spaces such as the courtyard as well as the fabric of the building. Accordingly, a non-profit association has been formed, called 6th and Olive Mixed Use Tower Owners’ Association. The Association will have three members, mirroring the ownership, and the Association’s board will also have three members, two from Greystar and one from Nutmeg and Olive (33% of the vote is quite generous considering we have only 10% of the building!). Nutmeg and Olive has appointed our cathedral administrator Kathleen Burgess to serve as our representative on the board. The Association’s members will benefit from the maintenance and the services provided by the Association and shall each pay an allocable portion of the shared expenses. The LLC’s portion of the Shared Common Area Expenses and the Shared Parking Garage Expenses is subject to an expense cap of $3,500 per month.

Like any building with multiple owners, there are extensive regulations governing the use of the common spaces. The cathedral will have limited use of the Sixth Avenue Courtyard, sharing it with the tenants of 525 Olive. We have specified a number of occasions throughout the year such as Palm Sunday and the St. George’s Day celebration, and we also have the right to negotiate additional events in the courtyard as needed. We expect that the courtyard’s labyrinth will be a popular contemplative spot. For better or worse, the regulations do not permit us to offer ministry to our unsheltered neighbors in the shared courtyard.

To the south of the shared courtyard, close to the chapel, the Cathedral still has full ownership of a smaller open space, formerly known as the Clergy Parking Lot. Greystar has rented it from us during construction but it will be released back to us once the project is complete. Here we have the freedom to do whatever we feel called to do, which will likely include outreach ministries, especially if we are able to proceed with constructing the Outreach Center in that corner of the campus. However, we want to be good neighbors to the tenants – after all, we want them to like us so much that they will join the congregation! – so we will take measures to screen off our space and spare the tenants any discomfort from unsettling sights and sounds. At present I don’t know what those measures will be – whether additional trees, or shade sails, or some other material.

As with any construction project, the end date is uncertain and there are always last-minute tweaks and patches to be done. Although we hope to have occupancy next month, we’ve decided to wait until June to have a Grand Opening week, just in case of unforeseen delays. Meanwhile, we continue to prepare for Holy Week and Easter, including the Maundy Thursday Soup Supper on April 14 and the Great Vigil on April 16.

See you on Sunday!

Your sister in Christ,

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