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4 developers submit competing proposals for San Diego sports arena site

Four competing proposals would redevelop San Diego’s aging sports arena in the Midway District.
Four competing proposals would redevelop San Diego’s aging sports arena in the Midway District and 48 acres nearby into a modern village featuring entertainment, housing, retail shops and office buildings.
(File)

San Diego officials have begun evaluating four competing proposals to redevelop the city’s aging sports arena in the Midway District and 48 acres nearby into a modern village featuring entertainment, housing, retail shops and office buildings.

Four developers last week submitted detailed plans for how they envision transforming the area and replacing the 54-year-old arena with a modern version.

The separate plans were submitted before the June 8 deadline included in a request for proposals the city issued over the winter.

City officials plan to evaluate the proposals to make sure they are responsive to the city’s request, said Christina Chadwick, a spokeswoman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The proposals deemed responsive will then be posted on the city’s website sometime in July for public comment, Chadwick said.

“The public comment period will be very important in the selection committee’s review of the proposals,” she said.

After the public comment period closes, city staff will choose one of the proposals and present it to the City Council this fall for potential selection.

City officials are declining to reveal the names of the developers or the proposals they submitted until next month.

That is standard practice when the city issues requests for proposals, which require developers to submit sensitive and proprietary information about their finances.

The selected developer would lease the sports arena site from the city and agree to either restore or rebuild the arena.

The city’s request for proposals covers six connected parcels north of San Diego International Airport, south of Mission Bay and bounded by Kurtz Street and Sports Arena Boulevard.

A 30-foot coastal height limit approved by city voters in 1972 applies to the Midway District, which includes the arena site and nearby areas dominated by fast-food chains and auto-related businesses.

But the City Council’s Rules Committee has endorsed a proposed November ballot measure that would exempt the Midway-Pacific Highway community from the height limit. The full council is expected to decide next month whether the measure will appear on the ballot.

Council President Georgette Gómez said last week that she is concerned developers could sue the city over conflict between the ballot measure and the request for proposals regarding the height limit.


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