City Council Committee Wants To Advance 5 Sports Arena Proposals
A San Diego City Council committee on Thursday recommended moving forward with the five redevelopment proposals for the 48-acre Pechanga Arena property in the Midway District, after city employees sought to narrow the list to three finalists .
The five development teams are all vying for a deal with the city to build a mix of affordable and market-priced housing, commercial space, a park and an entertainment venue on the property, commonly known as Sports Arena. . Two of the proposals aim to renovate the existing arena, while the others would replace it from scratch.
The city’s Department of Real Estate and Airports Management asked the committee for permission to shortlist the three proposals that would build a new arena. Officials said their preference was based on their understanding of a state law that requires the leasing or sale of public land to prioritize affordable housing for low-income people.
But several residents told the committee they wanted to see more details about each proposal before narrowing down the competition.
RELATED: In San Diego’s quest for more housing, ‘unlimited’ height, density shows results
“Removing any of the options on the table today is short-sighted,” said Dike Anyiwo, who chairs the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group.
Councilwoman Vivian Moreno agreed, saying she preferred the city to do a more in-depth analysis of the five proposals.
“I don’t want to rush and miss an opportunity to pick the right project for this site,” Moreno said. “We have a recent history under the previous administration of the mayor of rushing into real estate transactions at the expense of proper due diligence and full and transparent analysis.”
Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer had selected a development partner for ownership of the arena. But state housing officials rejected that selection because the city failed to follow the state’s Surplus Land Act, which requires the city to offer its real estate to affordable housing developers before signing. pursue other development options.
RELATED: Looking for a makeover, Midway District says “yes” to new housing
Council member Joe LaCava cast the lone vote against the committee’s motion, saying an analysis of the five proposals would add time to the process without necessarily changing which proposal would go through the state.
“It’s not in my interest to rush this, (and) it’s not in my interest to slow it down unnecessarily,” LaCava said.
Another layer of uncertainty overshadows the redevelopment of the arena property: None of the proposals will be feasible if the city is unable to raise the 30-foot height limit in the Midway neighborhood. A judge last year blocked the city from implementing a voter-approved ballot measure to raise the height limit, saying the city should have analyzed the measure’s environmental impact before submitting it to voters. .
The City is appealing this decision while preparing an environmental analysis in accordance with the judge’s order. Once that analysis is complete, he is expected to hold another referendum on whether the height limit should be lifted.