Jonathan Segal receives approval for redevelopment of Fat City/China Camp site

After Jonathan Segal’s proposed Fat City Lofts condo development was turned down, the developer/architect and his team changed strategy. This time, nearby manufacturer Solar Turbines is in support of the project, which calls for a 364-room dual-hotel concept, with restaurants and retail space.

Developer GLJ Partners and developer-architect Jonathan Segal have received approval from the Centre City Development Corp. for a 364-room dual hotel project on the former Fat City/China Camp restaurant site at the corner of Pacific Highway and Hawthorne Street. Kim John Kilkenny, acting CCDC president, found the project consistent with development regulations.The proposed six-story, 239,100-square-foot project, designed by Gene Fong Associates of Los Angeles, will include a standard hotel and an all-suites hotel with a total of 364 guest accommodations, two pools and spas, two dining rooms, meeting rooms, gym facilities, two retail/restaurant spaces totaling 2,500 square feet and basement garage parking. Many rooms on the upper floors will feature panoramic views of the San Diego Bay.

“The hotel will incorporate the Art Deco-style façade that has been a Downtown icon since Top’s Nightclub opened in 1941,” said Garth Erdossy, president of GLJ Partners. Construction costs are estimated at $40 million for the hotels, which will front on Pacific Highway. Construction could start in 2013. The development team had originally proposed Fat City Lofts, a mixed-use project with 232 apartments and nearly 5,000 square feet of retail, but it was opposed by neighboring Solar Turbines and a host of politicians and failed to win approval. Solar Turbines supports of the hotel project.


During my college years, the so-called “Fat City Denny’s” was one of our favorite places to grab a cup of coffee and some grub after a hard night of “studying.”