Program: Qualcomm Stadium Future Plan
Dan Mc Swain has been with the North County Times and now the Union Tribune for the last 16 years. His timely topic was all about the land at the Qualcomm Stadium site, and the current plans for what to do with the property now that the Chargers have gone to Los Angeles. The latest proposal is the introduction of Major League Soccer to San Diego.
Looking at the land in Mission Valley, there are several factors to consider. First, rain floods the parking lot, bringing significant mud from the San Diego River bed that covers the asphalt. Secondly, there’s the Fuel Tank Farm, which was the source of a gasoline leak under the Stadium. This problem appears to have been dealt with now. There are two trolley lines that stop at the Stadium, with a third contemplated.
The current FS Investor proposal would include a ‘Soccer City’ stadium for 22 thousand fans, expandable to 40 thousand in the future. The field would be used both for soccer and the Aztec Football games played by SDSU. After 5 years, this stadium would be turned over to the University. A private space of 16 acres would be held aside for five years, in case another stadium was desired for an NFL team. There would be 2 additional Playfields for public use, as well. A River Park would be developed but with plants not grass.
Three, 26 story residential structures would be built, providing 4800 living units, which would include 800 for students and 480 for affordable housing. 2.4 million square feet of office space, and 430,000 sf of retail space would also be constructed. The funding for this development has been carefully calculated so that if the San Diego City Council does not approve the proposal, the development funds are decreased. Signatures are about to be gathered to convince the SD Council. If their approval is not secured, then the proposal becomes a ballot measure.
If the Qualcomm Stadium land is developed in any way, the City is on the hook to develop the River area. The Major League Soccer franchise wants affirmative action by September, 2017 at the latest. The other city being considered is Sacramento. The project is not highly leveraged and appears to be a win/win in many ways, though former SD Council Member, Donna Fry is against this and wants the entire area to be a park, while Cory Briggs is against all of it. The Water District and the EPA may both bring up challenges moving forward as well. There is also an alternative proposal that turns the entire area over to San Diego State University to develop student housing, lecture halls and athletic fields for the University.