Midway District

San Diego City Council Narrows Playing Field for Sports Arena Redevelopment Bids

City Council voted unanimously Monday to shortlist the proposals on the Sports Arena site from 5 projects to 3.

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Redeveloping the Sports Arena site has been years in the making, and now it's one step closer to reality.

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to narrow down the number of proposals in consideration from five to three.

"You know, I really liked a lot of the ideas in all of the proposals, so it was really hard," said Councilmember Jen Campbell, who represents District 2 where the Sports Arena site is.

NBC 7's Priya Sridhar explains the roadblocks in the way of redeveloping the old Sports Arena site.

Ultimately, according to Campbell, the most important criteria the city council must consider when choosing one of the proposals is affordable housing. The Surplus Land Act requires redevelopment projects on surplus land like the Sports Arena site to be prioritized by whichever bid has the most affordable housing units and offers the deepest levels of affordability.

"I think it's tremendously important. We need housing desperately and we need to build a beautiful new neighborhood in an area that is currently kind of blighted so, this'll really be the impetus to get that going," Campbell said.

Not everyone shared the viewpoint of the councilmembers. Some community members believe it's important that all proposals are carefully considered to figure out what is in the best interest of the community.

"We thought it was very important to not eliminate any of the proposals until we had a better understanding of what they were being held accountable for and ultimately what they will be held accountable to when it comes to their commitments to the city -- you know, the infrastructure improvements that need to happen around the community outside the footprint of the arena itself," said Dike Anyiwo with the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group.

Now, consultants for the city will take a look at the three proposals and figure out how feasible the plans to redevelop the site are, and also how all of this is going to get funded. Campbell said she's hoping the reports from the consultants will come to the city council within a few months.

The three projects that the city council will now be considering are Midway Rising, Hometown SD and Midway Village.

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