San Diego

Settlement Approved in Land Deal Needed to Convention Center Expansion

The Port of San Diego and city leaders have secured a crucial piece of land for the San Diego Convention Center expansion project.

The San Diego City Council and Port of San Diego's Board of Port Commissioners voted Tuesday to support a three-party settlement agreement.

They agreed to pay a $33 million buyout to a hotel developer for the piece of land where the convention center would expand.

Voters still need to approve the plan in November.

The port will make a non-refundable $5 million down payment before the election.

If the measure fails, city taxpayers would reimburse the port for that amount and the land would likely be turned into another downtown hotel project

"This project is absolutely essential for growing our regional economy, adding local jobs and generating new revenue that can be used to improve our neighborhoods," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a written news release.

The agreement would raise the hotel room tax rate from 12.5 percent to as much as 15.75 percent to pay for the expansion.

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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