San Diego

Deal Increases Likelihood of San Diego Convention Center Expansion

The city of San Diego has reached a deal that could secure them the land needed to expand the San Diego Convention Center, but voters have a say first. 

The settlement between the city, the Port of San Diego and Fifth Avenue Landing gives the city control of a five-acre plot of land on the southwest side of the convention center if certain conditions are met.

In order for the Port of San Diego to purchase Fifth Avenue Landing's lease for $33 million, a citizens' initiative must pass. Then, the city will purchase a new lease from the port for $28 million with revenue from the citizen's initiative, according to the city. 

If the initiative does not pass, Fifth Avenue Landing can proceed with the process towards building a hotel on the five-acre plot. 

The citizens' initiative, called Yes for a Better San Diego, was launched in January. Backers are working to get voter approval on a tourism tax increase to bankroll the expansion project.

Similarly to the other proposals, the group will collect registered voters' signatures in the hope of gathering enough to put the proposed tax on the ballot.

Supporters have said the expansion of the Convention Center will help grow San Diego’s economy and maintain major tourism-boosting events like the pop culture extravaganza Comic-Con.

Fifth Avenue Landing and the city of San Diego have been negotiating terms since a lawsuit was filed in August 2017. The lawsuit later expanded to include the San Diego Unified Port District. 

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