Safdie Rabines Architects has designed a series of improvement to portions of Oceanside’s beach area, including and renovated plaza and new grand staircase. Rendering courtesy of Safdie Rabines.

Safdie Rabines Architects has designed a series of improvement to portions of Oceanside’s beach area, including and renovated plaza and new grand staircase. Rendering courtesy of Safdie Rabines.

A portion of The Strand, Oceanside’s signature beachfront street, is getting a makeover designed by Ellington Inline - does not appear at preview Safdie Rabines Architects based in Mission Hills.

The $9.2 million project includes construction of a new staircase leading from North Pacific Street at the foot of Mission Avenue to the beach and a wide plaza at the base of the stairs.


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Ricardo Rabines Co-founder Safdie Rabines Architects

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Kevin Schiller Principal Safdie Rabines Architects

“This is really a nice public plaza space for Oceanside, that’s the beauty of it,” said Ricardo Rabines, co-founder of Safdie Rabines Architects.


The project is part of an overall city drive to spruce up this portion of the coastline to coincide with new development downtown, including the opening this year of two beachfront resort hotels.


It’s to the west of the new hotels and connects the hotels to the beach with a new staircase and a lookout area overlooking the beach, said Kevin Schiller, principal of Safdie Rabines.


Restoration and Renovation


Construction is slated for completion by summer 2022.


Part of goal was to present a more appealing face to visitors, said Nathan Mertz, manager of the city Public Works Division.


“The old setup was you had a lot of back of house issues greeting the public as they came down the stairs, and some of them were seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time,” Mertz said.


With the redesign, “when you come down from that end of Mission Avenue, walking down this grand staircase to the beach, you have more of a visitor service aesthetic going on rather than an operational aesthetic,” Mertz said.


The new staircase replaces one that was steep and narrow that was difficult for people to navigate.


The project also includes restoration of a 1930’s era historic bathhouse and restroom building, converting it to office space and locker rooms for Oceanside police.


The historic building will keep its Mission style design “so it will look the same from the street,” Schiller said, but the interior was gutted.


“We completely reworked it to make it a functional office for the police department,” Schiller said.


“We’re building a completely new (sewage) lift station as part of the project as well,” Schiller said.


More to Come


An existing city services building at 200 North The Strand is being demolished, replaced with a new 9,000 square-foot, one-story building that includes 14 unisex restrooms, maintenance offices and a maintenance garage, a police garage and a storage area.


The 2,000 square-foot plaza also is being completely redone.


“We pretty much scraped it all down,” Schiller said, installing permeable pavers, built-in benches and a grove of palm trees.


Fencing that separated the plaza from the amphitheater has been removed.


The projects had their genesis about 15 years ago in a beachfront study done by the former city redevelopment agency, Mertz said.


More improvements along The Strand are in the works that could include the amphitheater adjacent to the Oceanside Pier that was built in 1937.


“Right now, the Development Services Department has a number of projects in the planning stage to look at the amphitheater, look at the concrete portion of the pier,” Mertz said. “The one thing the community could really get behind and support was new restroom facilities along The Strand, on the pier itself and down on Wisconsin Street.”


In 2015, the city built new restrooms north of the pier and remodeled restrooms on the pier and at Wisconsin Street.


In another project designed by Safdie Rabines, the city in 2017 built a new restroom structure at Tyson Street Park, Mertz said.


“It really is a sister project in the design and construction,” Schiller said. “They have the same material.”


The Tyson Street project included demolition of an old restroom building, replacing it with a 14-stall unisex public restroom building with utilities and site improvements.


The project under way “is one of the last restroom issues to be addressed,” Mertz said.


Safdie Rabines Architects
Year founded: 1993
Principals:  Taal Safdie, Ricardo Rabines, Eric Lindebak, Kevin Schiller
Founding partners: Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines
Headquarters: Mission Hills
Business: Commercial architects
Employees: 41
Notable: Safdie Rabines Architects is designing the University of California San Diego’s largest and most ambitious project – the North Torrey Pines Living & Learning Neighborhood. The project is in collaboration with HKS.
Website:  www.safdierabines.com
Contact: 619-297-6153