SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council received an update Monday on the Midway Rising project, which will eventually redevelop about 50 acres in the sports arena.
The original plans included a state-of-the-art 450,000-square-foot arena, a 200-room hotel and 250,000 square feet of retail space. The icing on the cake was 4,250 new homes, 2,000 of which will be affordable housing, 250 middle-income and 2,000 market-rate.
But due to the discovery of a large sewage pipe, the arena now has to be moved, which will eliminate the hotel altogether — a business that would have provided many jobs. The middle-income housing was also scrapped due to market volatility and more than doubled interest rates.
Councilmember Marni Von Wilpert expressed disappointment that the developers were caught off guard by the sewage pipe and can’t deliver.
“So you’re telling us that this venture that has two billionaires at the helm, who between them owned four or five national sports franchises, can’t figure out how to build 250 middle-income housing units for us?” Von Wilpert said. “We have a homelessness crisis. We have an affordability crisis. We picked your team because we believed you. You have billionaires at the helm. Please figure this out and put the 250 units back in and help us get what we deserve for our property.”
The exclusive negotiation phase could last two to three years.
The city council will get its next update at the end of November or early December.