City searches for project San Diego ‘can be proud of’ in opening Sports Arena applications

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego Monday issued a notice of availability for the 48.5-acre site in the Midway-Pacific Highway Community that includes the Sports Arena area, signifying to developers that the city intends to lease the location for redevelopment.

Interested developers must include in their proposals at least 25% of proposed housing units as affordable. Preference will be given to developers with the highest number of proposed affordable units and the highest levels of affordability.

“San Diego has a rare opportunity to remake a part of the city that is desperate for revitalization,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “At the same time, it offers a chance to create a significant number of new homes for San Diegans, allowing us to take a big bite out of our housing crisis.

“I’m looking forward to a redevelopment process that is public and transparent, complies with the state Surplus Land Act and ends in a project that all San Diegans can be proud of,” he said.

On Sept. 21, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to declare the Sports Arena site as surplus land under the definition spelled out by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The declaration also includes a condition that states the “future development include renovation or replacement of the city’s current sports arena on the property as a regional entertainment venue and operation of that venue for concerts, sports and other events, consistent with similar arenas in large cities in the United States.”

Redevelopment of the Sports Arena site is included as part of the Midway- Pacific Highway Community Plan update, which was started in 2010 and serves as a blueprint for the future development of the neighborhood. The plan envisions the Sports Arena Community Village, which would incorporate a mix of entertainment, office, retail, residential, public and park uses.

“We are pleased to initiate the process to solicit proposals for interest in redeveloping this important site in the Midway District,” said Penny Maus, director of the city’s Department of Real Estate and Airport Management. “With affordable housing and preservation of the regional entertainment venue use as part of the future plans, the formation of development teams is strongly encouraged to create cohesive plans that will benefit San Diegans for years to come.”

Proposals must be submitted to the city within 60 days. Interested parties can view the official notice of availability on the department of real estate and airport management website.

If proposals are received that comply with the Surplus Land Act and the requirements of the NOA, city staff will then enter into a 90-day good-faith negotiating period with one or more developers to identify key terms and refine components of proposals received. Staff will then present an update to the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee and full council — expected sometime in early 2022.

If the city does not receive proposals that are in accordance with the Surplus Land Act and the NOA, they will seek guidance from the committee and council prior to issuing a request for proposals.

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