Redevelopment Team ‘Neighborhood Next’ Pulls Out All the Stops in Front of Midway Planners

by on April 25, 2022 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page

A long presentation by one of the Midway redevelopment project proposers that the city wants to jettison and more about the homeless were the main points of interest at the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday, April 2022.

“Neighborhood Next”

Neighborhood Next is the name of the consortium that made the presentation. They are one of the original seven proposers on the Sports Arena redevelopment project. At the outset, the city declared two proposers to be unresponsive. Just recently, the city again cut the list from five to three proposers. Neighborhood Next was one of the two that were dropped.

What Neighborhood Next wanted was support from the Midway group in an effort to get the city to reconsider dropping the last two proposers.

The presentation was intended to sell the project and they pulled out all the stops. One thing that all of these proposers make a big part of their pitches is their “personal” connection to San Diego and how much they care about the community. While some of this oft expressed love for San Diego is sincere, much of it rings hollow and is a waste of time.

A big part of the discussion for all of the proposals is how they approached the issue of affordable housing.  This was something Neighborhood Next talked about having addressed in their proposal. There is a website devoted specifically to this group’s proposal, A visit to the site did not immediately reveal anything about affordable housing.

The website is simple with four choices at the top, “Imagine,” “In the Neighborhood,” “Team,” and “FAQ.”  The only mention of affordable housing was under FAQ. While this is a big part of the redevelopment discussion, it did not have a prominent place on Neighborhood Next’s website.

In the FAQ section is the question “What is your approach to affordable housing?” Below this is a list of nine bullets, the first seven of which said nothing. The facts were in the last two bullets.

Bullet eight states, “At least 25% of these homes as affordable to lower income residents earning 80% or below AMI.” In 2021, San Diego’s AMI-Area Median Income-was $95,100. Presumably, this means the homes would be affordable with an income of $76,000 or higher.

Bullet nine in Neighborhood Next’s FAQs states, “Homes for our “missing middle” earning 80 – 140% AMI.” Presumably, this would mean households with a yearly income of $76,000 to $133,000.

There does not appear to be an allowance for the much lower income categories.

The Sports Arena itself was the main issue the city had with Neighborhood Next, according to the presenters. They claimed the reason the city wanted to cut them was because they did not have an experienced arena developer on their team.

Neighborhood Next pointed out one of its partners, PCL Construction, is a very large construction company with experience building sports and entertainment facilities. Other proposals, however, contain partner firms that specialize in building and operating an entertainment complex like the Sports Arena. Perhaps, this matters to the city.

In the end, the Midway group voted to support the request to reinstate the last two firms the city removed from contention consider all five proposals. The proposal review process was scheduled for 90 days after submission of the proposals and is nearing completion. Winnowing out the proposals is how the process is supposed to work. Chances of success are slim.

Homeless issues

One item the group was very interested about is a new tent shelter being set up in the Midway area at the Psychiatric Hospital of San Diego County at 3853 Rosecrans Street. This property has a large parking lot, some of which will be devoted to a 120-bed tent facility.

Cathy Kenton, former long-time chair of the Midway group, expressed frustration at the group once again hearing about something significant happening in their area when it is already a “done deal.”

Apparently, the Request For Proposal, to get a shelter operator, already closed in March and the choice will be announced April 28. There will be a presentation at the San Diego Housing Commission meeting in May. The Midway group was not made aware of any of this during the planning process.

The other homeless topic was the new shelter at the former Pier One property that is euphemistically called the “Community Harm Reduction Team” facility.

Lisa Jones, Executive Vice President Strategic Initiatives, of the San Diego Housing Commission, has been faithfully attending the Midway meetings since the summer of 2021 when the project began. Jones reported that 42 of 44 beds are now occupied.

Jones said there were a couple of exits to other shelters and a couple more into permanent housing. The average shelter stay is 90-120 days.

Other news

The NAVWAR representative talked about the recent news of SANDAG and the Navy deciding not to partner to have a Grand Central Station at the old SPAWAR building site. SANDAG has decided to pursue a transit facility further south on Pacific Highway. The Navy does plan to still include a transit component in its development.

The Navy is teaming with a developer to make a more presentable proposal. Their first effort was greeted with howls of disapproval and they took note. They claimed they are trying to get the Environmental Impact Statement right before issuing an RFP by the end of the year.  Public comment will not happen until the RFP.

The Navy’s original proposal was for a massively dense and tall development. They said they did not have a plan to actually build that but that doing the EIS this way would have given them the biggest possible development envelope. That seems to have backfired.

Lastly, the Midway group sent its comments to the city’s Land Use subcommittee regarding recent proposed changes in land use law. Unfortunately, those comments are not available anywhere for the public to see. The group only recently began a web page but it contains very little information.

The Midway group has dragged its feet in starting a web page. They have also not been diligent in posting meeting minutes to the city’s website, the last posting was August 2020. There is also no place to go to see who is on the Midway group.

There is only one email contact for the entire Midway group. They have a new, young, chair Dike Anyiwo, who is tech savvy and should be working to improve these things so that Midway is not operating in the dark.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheselkirks April 27, 2022 at 11:30 am

Same crap but with a different mayor in a different city. It’s happening all over as even the little tiny town that has the only bank and supermarket in the south county has just elected one of these types of mayors that is part of the LLC that moved in and is buying up properties around town to ‘revitalize’ Chewelah using words and images to dazzle the rubes…

Thought you all might want to read this as it really does sound like SD:

The Battle for Oakland



Don Wood April 27, 2022 at 4:14 pm

The Midway Planners group is dominated by property owners who are trying to get their own land upzoned in order to be able to sell it as greater profits and make a killing. The previous chairwoman of the group owned a number of properties in the neighborhood, but lives in La Jolla. To improve the groups political optics, the previous chair moved into the background and let group member Dike Anyiwo take over as spokesperson for the group. Now they’ve elevated Anyiwo to be the group’s chairman. Anyiwo is also a Midway property owner who would make a bundle if his property gets upzoned and the coastal height limit is repealed in the district. These massive conflicts of interest make the membership of the Midway Planners questionable, if not illegal.


Dike Anyiwo April 28, 2022 at 1:16 pm

Wrong on both of your assertions Don.

Cathy Kenton, our previous chair lives in Del Mar Heights, but grew up in Point Loma, and I don’t own the house I’ve lived in for the last 7+ years here in Midway, nor do I own any property anywhere actually.


Geoff Page April 28, 2022 at 2:32 pm

I will confirm what Anyiwo corrected here Don, but the rest of your observation has real validity.


Paul Krueger April 27, 2022 at 6:37 pm

“Affordable” rental housing for residents who make 80 percent of the area median income is NOT affordable. It’s essentially market rate. It’s a seemingly unavoidable conclusion that our Mayor and City Council continually let developers off the hook for providing truely affordable housing. If they’re really committed to building it, then they should require much more housing for our 30-60 percent AMI residents, who really need it.


sealintheselkirks April 27, 2022 at 7:36 pm

Then we must assume that the Mayor and City Council (the wealthy elite) are obviously just not that INTERESTED in having anybody below a certain income threshold living in San Diego. Can’t increase your profit margin with people who can’t afford the graft, eh?

I’m sure their children and grandchildren would be perfectly happy bagging groceries, stocking shelves, working as maids, selling cigs and alcohol behind a QuickStop counter, or flocking to teaching positions in public schools. Minimum wage jobs are…you know…so fulfilling!

Of course all they need to do is increase the ‘day labor passes’ to the poor on the south side of the border and things will be just fine doncha know?

Do I need a snark tag?



Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: