Old central library
The old central library in downtown San Diego. Courtesy of the city

The city of San Diego’s development arm has put out another call for bids to create something out of the site of the former downtown Central Library.

The request for proposals by Civic San Diego touts the 63-year-old property at 820 E St. as a prime location for residential development or adapting the current building for another type of use. The area is zoned for mixed-use construction, which allows ground floor commercial businesses and residential units above.

Civic San Diego also said the location is within close walking distance to downtown jobs, transit, shopping and entertainment venues.

The future of the three-story building has been a topic of debate over the four years since the current Central Library opened in the East Village.

Because it’s sat vacant since then, advocates for the homeless have called for it to be used as a shelter. The homeless often sack out on the sidewalks adjacent to the building.

A previous RFP reportedly drew three bids that were rejected by city staff.

Another proposal called for it to be used as a resource center for military veterans.

For interested developers, the city will host a site tour and pre- submittal tour on Nov. 29. The submittal deadline is Jan. 31.

—City News Service