A leading San Diego real estate economist is suggesting a second look at downtown’s East Village for a new multi-purpose stadium site, even though a members of a blue-ribbon advisory group long dismissed that scenario.
Instead, they unveiled a complex financing approach to building on the current Qualcomm site in Mission Valley -- only to see the Chargers push the accelerator on their parallel track toward the city of Carson.
In an interview Friday, Gary London insisted it may not be too late for all concerned to reconsider the site plans.
"The whole idea that time is against the city is just flat-out wrong -- I think that time is against the Chargers or NFL,” London told NBC 7, before addressing a Catfish Club luncheon forum in Balboa Park.
London takes the Chargers at their word that they want to stay in San Diego: “I think the enticement to get them to stay here is to put them where they want to be – which is downtown. And let's work on creating a higher and better use for the property in Mission Valley."
By London’s calculations, the Mission Valley stadium proposal now on the bargaining table undervalues the property by at least half, if not more.
"Ballpark figure?" I asked him, one-on-one.
"Four to six hundred million dollars."
"Why haven't they promoted that?"
London paused briefly, seemingly formulating a diplomatic answer.
"I don't think they understand how to look at development from a 'prospective value' basis," he explained.
"Can this be rectified in time?"
Which leads inquiring minds to wonder whether this could become a serious bone of contention that might get gnawed on next week.
That’s when a second, closed-door summit meeting on stadium issues is expected – date and time, not to be publicly shared.
It’s still not clear whether the gathering would involve the mayor, city attorney and top Chargers brass, or just their outside financial and logistical consultants.
So one last, lingering question:
Is it remotely possible for those representing the taxpayers’ interests and Team Spanos to wind up on the same page?