Here Are the 5 Contenders for the Sports Arena Redevelopment

by on December 14, 2021 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Go Here for an Update on Some of the Proposals

Originally posted Dec. 14, 2021

There are 5 remaining redevelopment teams bidding to take on San Diego’s 48 acres of city-owned land around the sports arena in Midway District. Proposals from the Panacea Group and Cotterkey Investments were deemed not responsive and have been eliminated.

The developer groups are going for a longterm ground lease for the city’s real estate holdings at 3500, 3250, 3220 and 3240 Sports Arena Blvd. These include San Diego’s sports arena — the long-time home of the San Diego Gulls. Bidders are supposed to be submitting site redevelopment plans with a new or improved sports arena, and withat least 25 percent of proposed housing units for lower-income families.

Apparently, all the bids will include visions that include buildings that tower over the Midway District’s 30-foot height limit. San Diego voters last year struck down the restriction, but a legal challenge threatens to void the ballot-box victory and could be an obstacle for development teams.

Late last week, the city announced it would sit down and negotiate withe the following development teams (all descriptions are from the San Diego U-T):

Discover Midway, includes Brookfield Properties and existing arena operator ASM Global. Their proposal calls for 3,280 apartment homes lining the periphery of the city’s property, advances the idea that the aging venue can be made exciting once again with an exoskeleton-of-sorts that transforms its monolithic style and singular function.

Midway Village+ is led by Toll Brothers Housing and sports real estate firm Revitate. This proposal includes apartments for a variety of income levels, with the group now disclosing that it will build more than 1,000 units for low- and middle-income residents, meaning people making between 30 percent and 120 percent of the area median income, as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan calls for “thousands” of housing units alongside commercial buildings that line the periphery of the site. A new, 15,000-seat arena, which could be expanded, will sit in the center of the project and feed into a 12-acre public park, a hotel and a 3,500-seat event center. On the western edge, located on a parcel not included in the city’s solicitation, the development team would also like to build a 20,000-seat home for the San Diego Loyal soccer team.

Midway Rising combines San Diego-based Zephyr with well-known arena operator Legends.The group’s early plan envisions a roughly 16,000-seat, privately financed arena on the eastern edge of the property that flows into an urban public square. On the western side, an unknown mix of affordable units, middle-income apartments and market-rate housing are spread across mid-rise towers that open onto a central paseo. A series of rooftop parks, which cover above-ground parking garages, and elevated walkways connect residents and visitors to the sports complex. Midway Rising also calls for a hotel near the arena.

HomeTownSD –  hails from local firms Monarch Group and JMI Sports. Their proposal centers around more than 2,000 deed-restricted apartment homes set aside for low- and middle-income families. It also includes a downsized sports arena that can hold 10,000 people, a 300-key hotel, 300,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space, a 10,000 square-foot child care facility, and 18 acres of green space spread across parks and rooftops.

Neighborhood Next pairs ConAm Group with Wakeland and Community Housing Works. They propose to remake the parcels in the style of San Diego’s Little Italy, where a plethora of apartment buildings in a variety of heights and designs give life to a wealth of street-level activity, replete with dining and shopping options, where pedestrians and bicyclists have the right of way. A central path, called the GreenLine Promenade, would extend the length of the project, weaving together a broader network of open spaces and transporting people from the property’s eastern edge to the San Diego River. Altogether, the group is designing a site with 4,800 to 5,400 apartments, up to 300,000 feet square feet of commercial retail and office space, a dedicated community building that could house a school or library, and one or two hotels.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Wood December 15, 2021 at 6:29 pm

Too bad the city violated state planning laws when it floated Prop E, an illegal attempt to overturn the existing Prop D Coastal Height Limit. The court has determined that Prop E is invalid, and would have to be put back on the ballot again if and when the city has completed a legal EIR on the impacts of repealing the current 30′ height limit. That means every one of these proposals would have to be redrafted to include only buildings of 30′ or less in their projects. Another north bound city brain train wreck.


Frank Gormlie December 16, 2021 at 12:08 pm

NBA great and San Diego icon Bill Walton announced today he has endorsed Midway Village+.

“I really like everything about this terrific project. The plan, the people, and the purpose are all exceptional,” Walton said. “As the Executive Chairman of San Diego Sport Innovators, our team is proud to be a part of San Diego’s future at Midway Village+.”

Walton continued: “The dream, vision, and goal here blends sports, entertainment, park space, healthy living, housing, and so much more. This will create a wonderful and transformational pedestrian village that will propel the Midway District forward and distinguish it among San Diego’s greatest neighborhoods. This is our best chance for the future of our beloved community. We are ready. The time is now. Here we go. This puts us on our way to making our dreams a spectacular reality.”


Frank Gormlie December 16, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Tony Manolatos, who represents Midway Village+, may not know, but Bill Walton described himself as a socialist at one point.


Lyle April 15, 2022 at 12:08 pm

So what is it about the game of basketball that makes a person an expert at city planning, or for that matter politics? Of course Bill Walton is free to have an opinion bout anything, but I am free to ingnore it.


everyone September 13, 2023 at 9:53 am

The one that’s mostly walkable and pedestrianized is the best, and everyone knows it. It’s the ConAm one, right? The other proposals just look lazy by comparison.


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