SAN DIEGO – It’s been a decade-long decision to identify a new Midway District design,

With the state now leaning into the process and with officials determining affordable housing as its most important component, five proposals have been whittled down to three.

City leaders say they agree that affordable housing units are the most important barometer for the project’s feasibility to stay in compliance with state law. The city council has now directed staff to take a closer look at the three plans which had affordable housing at the heart of their design schemes.

“I think it’s tremendously important, we need housing desperately, and we need to build a beautiful neighborhood that’s kinda blighted,” San Diego Councilwoman Dr. Jennifer Campbell said.

Most of Campbell’s colleagues agree. The group says the 56-year-old Pechanga Arena needs to be torn down and moved east, revamping the traffic flow and opening more space for housing.

Observers say they are excited for whatever changes help to improve the run-down area for the better.

The current proposals are part of the second round of submissions after the first round, won by Brookfield Properties, was disregarded for not complying with state law.

“The three groups that have kind of stepped forward or advanced at this stage are all quality groups and their bids are all better than what we have today,” said Dike Anyiwo, chair of the Midway Pacific Highway planning group.