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Major Makeover Slated for Cabrillo Bathhouse

City Estimates $11 Million Cost; Work Scheduled to Begin in Next Two Years


If all goes as planned, the Cabrillo Pavilion and Bathhouse could be given an $11 million makeover beginning sometime in next two years. Originally built in 1926 by millionaire philanthropist David Gray of Ford Motor fame, the guts of the two-story structure — mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and communications — are in dire need of major work, Jill Zachary of the Parks and Rec Department told the City Council. Likewise, the first floor gym is way too small, she said, its locker rooms and showers way too big and far too old. Major changes are also needed, she said, for the building — heavily used for weddings, conferences, talks, and art shows — to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although plans are only conceptual at this point — and costs only rough estimates — Zachary said City Hall also hopes to build a boardwalk from the Pavilion to the ocean’s edge.

The building has long been a significant revenue source for the cash-strapped Parks Department, but Councilmembers Gregg Hart and Bendy White said it’s fallen short of its potential. Although the East Beach Grill is a popular morning destination spot, they opined that the location would be ideal for a more aggressive and lucrative operation. The East Beach Grill’s contract expires in one year, Zachary told the council.

This week, the council approved a million-dollar expenditure plan to cover the cost of architectural schematics and engineering reports for the duration of development. Zachary said $9.1 million of the $11 million in estimated costs would come from Redevelopment Agency bonds the city sold 10 years ago for this purpose. Although all Redevelopment Agencies have since been abolished, Zachary said she’s confident those revenues can and will pass muster with all the relevant state and local government agencies. That still leaves another $2 million, which Zachary said will have to come from appeals to the public.

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