One block of greenhouses is all that remains of Portola’s garden industry, and its future is uncertain.
By Nuala Sawyer
Aug 2nd, 2017
The plot of greenhouses at 770 Woolsey St. was built in the 1920s, one of 19 that financially sustained the neighborhood’s population, which, at the turn of the 20th century, was largely immigrants from Malta and Italy. It was part of the University Mound Nursery, owned by the Garibaldi family, and these greenhouses somehow survived the neighborhood housing boom of the 1970s and ’80s, staying open until 1994.
But as the land became more and more valuable, the temptation to sell it for housing development grew too great. After more than a decade of different negotiations with buyers and developers, the 2.2-acre plot was bought at the end of June by Group I for $7.5 million. The developers plan on constructing 60 single-family homes in the space.