Art Olson | Avenida Primavera
Detail from Murduck Master Plan 2010. Courtesy Rupert Murduck.
The thrust of Form-Based Code revitalization appears set to pay off in a big way. Media Mogul Rupert Murduck has announced plans to buy the Del Mar Sandpiper to create a new flagship for his media strategy of regional news domination. Enticed by Del Mar’s Form-Based Code efforts which aim to relax the over-stringent zoning requirements in the commercial district, Murduck intends to build what he terms “Del Mar’s Landmark for the 21st Century” – Sandpiper Tower, a “sensitive extension of the historic Stratford Square Building” to house the operations of the Sandpiper’s expanding role in the community. In a pending arrangement with the City, the intersection of Camino Del Mar and 15th street will be renamed “Sandpiper Circle,” and will be re-configured with single-lane traffic, a roundabout and public park. The Sandpiper will be named the official City bird, and a statue will be placed in the park.
With the promise of unlimited funds, The Sandpiper board of editors has already begun plans for the new building and its expanded operations. “These new facilities will give us space and resources to cover the news in Del Mar with up to the minute reporting, on the spot video coverage, and live Twitter feeds,” exclaimed Virginia Lawrence, Sandpiper Broadband Czar. An International Desk will be set up with Sandpiper staff traveling the world, hunting down stories that are critical to Del Mar and its residents. The Board of Editors is already planning a fact-finding trip to Paris to research its sidewalk cafés. Plans are also being made to acquire a Sandpiper news helicopter to continuously hover above the city, providing up to the minute reports of newly vacated parking spaces, and erupting sidewalk sales.
“Del Mar’s well-being and community spirit will continue to be our main thrust,” exclaimed Bud Emerson, Sandpiper political observer. He explained that Sandpiper Tower and Circle would form a new hub of social activity for the village. “The building will be mixed use, with one floor devoted to low cost housing for our underpaid reporters.” A public observation deck and revolving restaurant will occupy the top floors of the tower, giving all residents the view they sought in moving to Del Mar. Tony Corso, Sandpiper food critic, is currently negotiating with world famous chef, Wolfgang Pluck, to establish the “Piper’s Roost,” a new concept restaurant for fresh, unprocessed, locally grown, energy-conserving food, that Corso is calling Sandpiper’s “Dish-Honestly” cuisine.
Detail from Murduck Master Plan 2010.
Courtesy Rupert Murduck.
Rupert Murduck, interviewed via Skype, from his corporate jet, explained his strategy. “In the Internet age, all news is local,” he emphasized. “… so, buying and expanding the Sandpiper is a no-brainer.” The new land-use policies in Del Mar mean that I can move ahead quickly. I hope to get all my ducks lined up by April 1st.”