The Balpark District Redevelopment project represents the last and perhaps most important phase in the revitalization of Downtown San Diego. This revitalization program consists of more than $1 billion in private residential, hotel, office and retail development. The Ballpark Village is the parcel of property of “superblocks” on the south side of the ballpark. This property was agreed upon to have land use flexibility potentially creating a “City within an City” with $3.1 million square feet of construction that could include over six towers on the 7.1 acre site.
The history of the development of these parcels dates back to the 1998 Memorandum of Understanding (MofU) between The City of San Diego, CCDC, The Padres, and JMI; and the election of Prop. C., allowing contracting out of city services. JMI Realty was appointed by the City of San Diego and the San Diego Padres, Master Developer for the Ballpark District. The MofU requires JMI to contribute $311 Million in “ancillary development” tpo the 26 block East Village Ballpark District.
The MofU outlines infrastructure developments such as:
- Park at the Park
- The Pedestrian Bridge
- Park to the Bay Link
- Land Use Flexibility
- Preservation of View Corricdors
- Emphasis on Higher Density Development
JMI has been working with Marriot Hotels to build on the western-most parcel of the development. The hotel plan and design is headed by architect Johmson Fain. The plans were proposed to the public forum for debate. Design is still pending CCDCs approval. The hotel plan includes 2500 foot towers; a 110 foot promenade structure supporting the perimeter of the towers providing 1.5 acres of top floor usable outside space; outside cafes and street level retail; landing of the Pedestrian Bridge on the East Village side; extension of the MLK Promenade; and neighborhood ascetic upgrades. If approved, the construction would be slated to begin in 2009 with a completion date of 2012.
What would be the benefits of this hotel?
- Tansitory Occupancy Tax revenues of $15 million plus yearly
- $7 million dollar Tax Basis yearly
- Capacity of Convention Center increased with no public dollars. This would ensure that SD could continue to host growing conventions like ComicCon whose contract is up in 2012
- Project would be LEED Certified. Not green, but a focus on Leadership and Energy Design
- Facilitate completion of the Pedestrian Bridge
- 2400 construction jobs
- 2600 permanent hotel and hospitality jobs
- Revitalization of the southern East Village
- Provide more patrons for local infrastructure to survive
- Diversify the use of outdoor and indoor public space available to the East Village residents and hotel visitors
Most comments seemed in favor of the hotel development, and most of the public that stayed to comment thanked JMI for the open forum and public presentation of plans. The oppostion to the development centered around the following issues:
- 10th avenue corridor view blocked by 110 ft. promenade structure
- Overall Tower Design could be better. Design could give San Diego Skyline more of a “wow” development
- Flow of traffic, both vehicular, pedestrian and cargo need to be examined more closely
- Development should offer more to “locals” in terms of infrastructure. The local neighborhood bears the weight of the development, but does not see a great amount of direct monetary benefit from the TOT or the Yearly Property Tax which get put into a general fund, rather than East Village funding.
This designation charged JMI Realty with the formidable task of revitalizing the once blighted and disregarded eastern edge of Downtown San Diego into a vibrant, year-round sports and entertainment destination as well as a livable, comfortable urban neighbored for San Diegos residents and visitors alike.