Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our initial proposal to the City staff

Recently the Carlsbad Village Association has been developing an idea to convert the Oak Street maintenance yard into the world’s first Non-Profit Skateboard Museum and Urban Art Center.

The idea is a multi-faceted one meant to engage our youth population, their parents and tourists from around the country to Experience the history of Carlsbad in a new way. Through a collaboration of the skateboarding culture and the emerging art movement, this museum complex will be catalyst for community growth in the south state street region and the city at large. This unique and one of a kind museum will work to invigorate the Village, boost tourism, increase the tax base and bring international recognition to Carlsbad, all with no investment from the City of Carlsbad.

Why a Skate Museum & Urban Art?

Carlsbad was the home of the world’s first skate park which was built in 1976, near the former Carlsbad Raceway. The term “skate park” was literally coined in Carlsbad. Our city’s place in the history of the skateboarding culture is literally cemented.  Because of this, Carlsbad, and the Tri-City area is home to many professional and semi-professional skaters, media outlets and skate-related manufacturers. Because Carlsbad is at the epicenter of the skateboarding world, a museum dedicated to its history and art seems an obvious fit.

After just a few preliminary conversations and phone calls we have seen a huge amount of community support for the idea. Already we have the interest and a show of support from the Tony Hawk Foundation which has raised over 3 million dollars to fund skate parks in low income areas. We believe that there would be great financial support for this project from the private donors and local corporate sponsors. The excitement at the prospect of this idea is electric and calls of support are coming in with little solicitation.

Site View

Based on the current layout of the space, we see the usage of the space, with no build-out whatsoever, could accommodate the following uses:

•    2 Buildings (Main Building facing Oak and the central building to the east of the property) would serve as the museum; home to curated shows, which would focus on the history and culture of skateboarding.
•    Central building would serve as the Education and Learning Center
•    Building in far south end would serve as an Urban Arts Center
•    Remaining lots would be used to create a mini-skate park


In the first 3 years we plan to accomplish the following:       
•    Establish a permanent collection of skateboarding memorabilia, focusing initially on the role of Carlsbad in the industry and culture
•    Curate  4-6 travelling shows showcasing the History of Skateboarding
•    Create an Urban Art Center, with teaching artists, traveling Urban Art shows, and feature shows of professional urban artists
•    Create an educational program which would provide courses in Safety, the business of skateboarding, lessons with pros and semi-pros, sports photography, graphic design, etc.
•    Create a series of monthly youth oriented activities to engage our local kids in safe, community interaction (i.e. Movie nights, Community Skate Days, Meet the Pros, tournaments, concerts, etc.)
•    Open the museum complex to tourists 6 days a week Tuesday - Sunday

Potential Partners

In discussing how this project could serve and be served by this community, we believe that a public/private partnership is paramount to its success. We see as potential partners, first and foremost, the City of Carlsbad, Housing and Redevelopment, Cultural Arts Office, and Parks and Recreation. We also see great potential with groups such as Boys and Girls Clubs of Carlsbad, The Senior Center, Barrio leadership, VisitCarlsbad, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce as well as local businesses that will benefit from the increased population in the Village.

Private partnerships with skateboarding industry leaders will fund the initial project. With support of non-profit groups like The Tony Hawk Foundation and Tri-City based industry leaders, we believe we will be able to raise the needed funds to support the initial build-out and operational costs.

Why this location and why now?

Over the course of the past several years the topics of a Village skate park, a Skateboard Museum, and an art and entertainment center, have been discussed many times and in many different groups. It seems to us that the time has come and we may actually have the perfect location in the Village.

The Oak Street yard offers many amenities that seem to be perfect for this type of project.  Existing buildings that can be kept intact and with minor capital improvements can accommodate a plethora of activities. The lot itself is large enough to house a small but effective skate venue, which while in the Village area, will be off major thoroughfares and prevent illegal skating activity on the streets of Carlsbad Village. Set in a largely industrial part of the Village and next to the train tracks eliminates residential noise complaints.

With the pending Safety Center expansion, the current skate park will, in the near future, be closed. Parks and Recreation is currently looking for a new location for a skate park and has until now been able to find an adequate location in the Village. We believe this location may be the answer.

The Village and Beyond

The skateboarding culture is so much a part of Carlsbad’s history and the Village is a central location for skaters to gather. Without a proper place to practice and hone their skills they often take to the street, even with the threat of citations. This is problematic to business in the Village, however providing a skate park would take the kids off the street, bring their parents to the Village to shop, eat, and maybe even catch a play. All of which support business in the Village.

Another positive offshoot from this project is the effect it could have on tourism. With national media outlets such as ESPN and Fuel TV eager to air interesting stories on Skateboarding, local professionals we spoke to all agree the national media would be exceptionally excited about a Skateboarding Museum in Carlsbad.

On a personal note, I am very excited about this idea and hope that you will consider these initial proposals as you plan the conversion of the Oak Street property.
As you go forward I would love the opportunity to attend committee meetings and further discuss this possibility. While the proposal outlined above is in its infancy, I believe that there is a real interest in the community. I have already received unsolicited calls from the Tony Hawk Foundation, and have talked to several people in the art, business and skateboarding community that think this is an exciting and necessary addition to the Village.

Thank you so much for all you do to make the Village a place to Experience. I look forward to our continued partnership.

Best regards,

Robin Young
Executive Director
Carlsbad Village Association


  1. Robin,

    This project is exactly what the Village needs! The expansion of the Village Arts & Cultural District would benefit greatly from this venue.

    The work that has been done thus far is commendable! You and your staff have done an excellent job and continue to provide the Village with diverse activities and venues.

    The City of Carlsbad should embrace this project like it was their own and offer whatever support is needed.

    Jon Wantz

  2. I am excited to see this happening in Carlsbad and especially in the "Village". With so many parks to cater to "Team" sports and activities, Carlsbad is in need of this exact project. Our youth in this community deserve something like this. It really is a cutting edge idea with the "Media Center", Educational Dept., and Music. This creates a merger of Art and sport I don't believe exists anywhere?

    On the business size, the revenue it would create with both local and world wide tourism is a need in the "Village" and Carlsbad abroad. Calsbad already has a tourism draw but this would once again give us an edge above the rest. As many know Skateboarding is a multi-billion dollar industry at this point and is possibly going to be an Olymic Sport in 2012.

    Let's as a community and World Wide get behind this. Skateboarding deserves it and so does the City of Carlsbad. I look forward to the meeetings and seeing the support grow!

    Justin Jachura
    Carlsbad Local/ CHS Alum
    Proud Carlsbad "Village" Business Owner