Midway Rising Drops Middle-Income Family Units From Redevelopment Plan – Council Members Angered

by on October 3, 2023 · 81 comments

in Ocean Beach

Midway Rising, the redevelopment team selected to remake the 48 acres at the Sports Arena property, has dropped the 250 middle-income family residential units from its plan. Instead it will build “market-rate” units. The 200-room hotel has also been removed from its plan. These moves have angered some City Council members

Housing for middle-income families is distinct from affordable housing, and includes units deed-restricted for families making between 80 percent and 120 percent of the area median income.

As U-T reporter Jennifer van Grove reported:

The project includes 2,000 affordable units, meaning units deed restricted for families making 80 percent or less of the area median income — a non-negotiable requirement memorialized in the exclusive negotiation agreement between the city and the development team.

That’s because the selection process was driven by California’s Surplus Land Act, which is designed to maximize affordable housing on land no longer needed by municipalities.

The changes were announced by Penny Maus, head of the city’s real estate department, who also was careful to note that the dropped elements were not required in the original deal between the city and Midway Rising.

It’s important to always remember that Brad Termini, CEO of Zephyr, one of the key players within Midway Rising, and Termini’s spouse were Mayor Todd Gloria’s top mayoral campaign contributors before the Council selected the redevelopment team to redevelop the Midway arena area.

Anyhow, Maus’ announcement didn’t sit well with some Council members. van Grove quotes Councilmember Marni von Wilpert:

“You’re telling us that this venture that has two billionaires at the helm, who between them own four or five national sports franchises, can’t figure out how to build 250 middle-income housing units for us?

We have a homelessness crisis. We have an affordability crisis. We picked your team because we believed you. You have billionaires at the helm, please figure this out and put the 250 units back in and help us get what we deserve for our property.”

Of course, von Wilpert was among the majority of the Council that chose Gloria’s recommendation a year ago.

Councilmembers Raul Campillo and Vivian Moreno were also upset. (Campillo voted against Midway Rising and Moreno was absent the day of the vote, if my memory serves me.)

Moreno is quoted:

“This is an extremely important project to ensure that we are building housing that people in the middle-income categories — teachers, firefighters, police officers and others — can realistically have access to. And I feel that we are leaving them behind with this project.

The loss of these units is obviously not a good sign. And I am concerned that with the rising interest rates that have been mentioned here that the amount of deed-restricted units will be further reduced as well.”

Some council members also questioned the development team’s decision to scrap its hotel, a change that von Wilpert said eliminates jobs for unionized hospitality workers.

Our own Jen Campbell, however, was more understanding of the changes. She said:

“We have to realize that when you build something, anything, no matter whether it’s on half an acre or 48.5 acres, you run into stuff you didn’t expect. This is a blighted neighborhood that needs to be upgraded. It will be upgraded. It will be beautiful. It will be pleasant to live in. It’s OK. We’re going to be alright.”

Of course, Campbell was instrumental in both pushing for the sports arena redevelopment — after all, it’s her district — and getting the 30-foot height limit removed in the Midway. It doesn’t really matter that the voters in District 2 — her constituents — voted against the ballot measure and weren’t consulted on the other.

Termini told the Union-Tribune that building middle-income housing was becoming more difficult to finance because of rising interest rates and “other market conditions.” “The bond market to produce middle-income housing has essentially evaporated in this financial climate.”

With this statement, Termini implies that the bond market to produce market-rate housing is doing much better.

van Grove reports:

A year ago, San Diego City Council members selected the Midway Rising development team to redo the city’s property at 3220, 3240, 3250 and 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. with 4,250 residential units, a new 16,000-seat arena, 250,000 square feet of commercial space, and 20 acres of plaza and park space. …

The Midway Rising team comprises market-rate housing developer Zephyr, sports-and-entertainment venue operator Legends (formed by an ownership group that includes the Jones family of the Dallas Cowboys) and affordable housing builder Chelsea Investment Corp. In June, a subsidiary of billionaire Stan Kroenke’s real estate firm The Kroenke Group took a 90 percent ownership interest in the Midway Rising entity.

Midway Rising is supposed to submit a detailed project description to the city before the end of the month.

The original proposed 200-room hotel just west of the new arena got the kibosh because “the team discovered a 96-inch sewer line near the new arena location, forcing the group to shift the arena onto the hotel site. The sewer line, which was not disclosed to development teams during the city’s real estate competition, also renders more than an acre of land off-limits to development, Termini said.”




{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Krueger October 3, 2023 at 11:18 am

Thx very much, Frank, for spreading the word about these disappointing and frustrating — but not surprising— “revisions” to the Midway Rising project.


Greg October 3, 2023 at 1:06 pm

Anything not explicitly required that does not maximize profit will be eliminated or reduced substantially. That’s how these things work. God forbid we actually use city assets to build deed restricted units for primary residence owners only.


Debbie October 3, 2023 at 1:19 pm

Who made this decision and why did the council give it the green light without requiring? “the dropped elements were not required in the original deal between the city and Midway Rising”

Smells fishy! This city always gets screwed with land giveaways and it’s all the fault of the mayor and council and the voters who put and keep these people in office. Campbell should have been recalled.


Tessa October 5, 2023 at 8:13 pm

How does a member of City Council get recalled?


Geoff Page October 3, 2023 at 1:58 pm

The Rag foreshadowed all of this happening in a report on the February 2023 Midway Rising meeting.

We recounted:

“Johnson took care to explain that Midway Rising had only earned the right to negotiate with the city for the next two years and was not at all ready to put a shovel in the ground. This is important because Johnson also noted that Midway Rising is doing its site “due diligence” now.

This means that Midway Rising is taking a much more detailed look at the development site. Information from site investigations can cause current plans to be deemed infeasible or more expensive than planned. This information may figure into the on-going negotiations.”

Having spent my career in the San Diego construction industry, those comments were a big red flag for me. They left a wide open door with those comments.

Proposers for developments like this are required to do at least some “due diligence” before proposing. At a minimum, that would mean researching what is underground in the area in the way of major utilities, groundwater, or toxic materials.

To say with a straight face that no one knew about the 96″ sewer line is ludicrous. In my career, I encountered it at least twice, once in Mission Valley and once on Harbor Drive. It runs down the valley and eventually ends at the Point Loma treatment plant. Everyone knew. The city just decided to have the developers deliver the bad news that they already knew about.

The city needs to put a halt to this development. now.


Mat Wahlstrom October 3, 2023 at 10:51 pm

Indeed we did — repeatedly, and before it was popular:



(In the latter piece, I was quoted in the U-T — and criticized at the time for saying in public testimony — “This proposal is worse than 101 Ash Street because it specifically spurns the lessons that we were supposed to learn [from that deal]. So the question you need to ask yourself today is, ‘When excrement hits the fan — and it will — what side of it do you want to be on?’”)


And agreed: time to flush the toilet on Termini.


Zack October 4, 2023 at 7:16 am


Put a halt to the whole development over this?

Should the more than 2,000 affordable units be halted? We need the housing!


Geoff Page October 4, 2023 at 11:13 am

Absolutely put a halt to it. What makes you think there is any guarantee of the 2,000 affordable units. No, this group has shown it did not do its initial due diligence on the site. I want to know what the other proposers did and if they knew about the sewer. This is a dishonest, sneaky move and I see no reason to continue with a group like that.


Zack October 4, 2023 at 2:35 pm

The surplus lands act guarantees it Geoff. It’s state law!


Paul Webb October 4, 2023 at 3:25 pm

Zack, not quite. The surplus lands act requires that the city to give priority in the project selection process to the entity that provides the greatest number of affordable units. That was the stated reason for the selection of Midway rising. There is no lower limit in the number of affordable units provided, other than that a minimum 25% of the units must meet the definition of affordable.

After the selection of the preferred project, the city and the chosen entity have a negotiating period where the specifics are worked out. I would bet dollars to donuts that we don’t end up with 2,000 units, but that’s just because I have become increasingly cynical about the city’s decisions regarding its real estate. And I should add that I started out with a pretty low opinion of them.


Zack October 4, 2023 at 8:18 pm

Indeed Paul you are correct here. The number of affordable units could be reduced, although if they were gutted entirely it may force the city to go back to the drawing board and prioritize another affordable developer.

I don’t think many of the OB rag folks will be happy with this development even if all of the affordable units make it in. A lot of people on here just don’t seem to want housing around them


Chris October 5, 2023 at 8:30 am

I don’t know about everyone else, but the main issue I have with this explosion of dense housing is that’s it not going result in reduced housing costs that all its adherents claim. It is not going to help with affordability or homelessness.


Zack October 5, 2023 at 10:31 am


So even if they don’t lead to affordable housing, why shouldn’t property owners be able to build dense housing?


Chris October 5, 2023 at 11:05 am

What I meant to say:
The whole selling point (yet in reality a myth) of dense housing is we will have so much housing is that prices will be more affordable for more people. Lack of housing is what’s supposedly driving prices up to the point that people are being displaced and why our homeless population has gotten to the point that it’s in now. That’s what dense housing advocates are always hammering on about.


Vern October 4, 2023 at 3:31 pm

When local agencies sell or lease their surplus land to others, California’s Surplus Land Act (SLA) (Government Code sections 54220 to 24234) requires them to prioritize that land for affordable housing, open space, and school use.

54220. (a) The Legislature reaffirms its declaration that housing
is of vital statewide importance to the health, safety, and welfare
of the residents of this state and that provision of a decent home
and a suitable living environment for every Californian is a priority
of the highest order. The Legislature further declares that there is
a shortage of sites available for housing for persons and families
of low and moderate income and that surplus government land, prior , should be made available for that purpose.


kh October 4, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Yes that’s correct, but nothing in that prevents them from reducing the scope or number of units. Which is to be expected, within reason. It would likely be up to the city council or city attorney to find that Midway Rising has breached it’s obligations and bring in any of the other groups. I’m sure there’s provisions for that.

For reference, the other groups had proposed 1,600~1,700 affordable units and in fact later offered more units than Midway Rising, but it was after the deadline for the city to “analyze” it. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/story/2022-09-08/san-diegos-sports-arena-site


Mateo October 5, 2023 at 3:07 pm

No Zack. 2000 “affordable” units will never, ever be built! Just like the middle class units were removed from the plan THE VOTERS APPROVED so will go the “affordable units watch and see.

Available housing is not the problem Zack, so enough with the tired ineffective, inaccurate diatribe of the last 15 years! Fact is, our population is contracting year after year and was stagnate for 3 years prior to the pandemic and that is a matter of public record. So knock it off with the build-build-build rally-cry.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone can see the tens of thousands of market rate luxury apartments that flood the market while the Politico-Corporate Real Estate Complex acquisition every available saleable home in the City by overbidding San Diegans by $100K. Thousands of BuildtoRent rentals by the tens of thousands, high density luxury apartments are available as we speak. The by-products of the local political collusion of corruption these incessantly overpriced behemoths increase rents on the 31st of each month throwing an ever increasing number of “formerly” middle-class San Diegans out the street by benefiting from tax subsidization in return for political donations from developers and trade unions bosses!

The politico-corporate monopolization of California housing is responsible here Zack and this BS proposition approved by the voters was all smoke and mirrors as everything is with corrupted Mayor Todd Gloria, City Attorney Mara Eliot and crooked San Diego City Council. Let this serve as the referendum on California Democratic Party corruption. There is nothing more American than dissent and holding your own party accountable.


Zack October 5, 2023 at 7:14 pm


I’m sorry my guy but your response is confusing. You think building more won’t work and your solution is hold the party accountable? So should San Diegans not vote for Democrats? Do you think Republicans would be better on this issue? They might! However they tend to be more free market which could very well lead to even more luxury housing development, which you don’t seem to be a fan of.


Mat Wahlstrom October 5, 2023 at 8:35 pm


Sorry my guy, but your responses on this topic — and on other articles here — is willfully obtuse. You think building more, without any consideration for what is built or how it is sold or used, will work to solve the affordable housing crisis we are in?

Should San Diegans automatically vote for Democrats — who until a few years ago were leaders in the Republican Party, but still espousing your exact mantra of neoliberal reliance on the “market” — be accepted as “equity”?

Because right now, there’s simply no way that San Diego can allow more “luxury housing development” than what it does currently.


Zack October 5, 2023 at 9:08 pm


You seem to be familiar with my comments on here. I’m so happy to have a fan!

On a more serious note, I am happy to claim the mantle of free market neoliberal any day of the week. Do I think building more will help solve the crisis? Yes! My wife is moving to Houston next year to do clinical rotations as part of her medical program. She found a two bed two bath apartment for $1,400. That is very affordable! And yet, the Houston metropolitan area has grown by over 20% (over 1 million people) since 2010. How is housing there so affordable? Because they build A LOT of housing. They don’t have nearly as many silly regulations as we do, and they let people build what they want, within reason, on their property. That is an American success story.

Not sure where the equity bit came from. I have no idea what should be accepted as equity and I really don’t care all that much.

San Diego can absolutely allow more luxury housing development. Hell I even welcome it. If too much luxury housing is built then prices will need to come down eventually as empty condos don’t make anyone, even “greedy” developers any money.

Call me obtuse all day there Mat. I must argue however, that trying to block housing development as the Chair of the Uptown Planners CPG, especially under the guise of “design review” and other arbitrary mechanisms, is rather obtuse to the struggle that San Diego is going through to adequately house its population. This kind of NIMBYism spits in the face of the American dream, which is supposed to be about freedom and opportunity, not about pulling up the economic ladder behind you by dictating what gets built and where based on your aesthetic preferences.

I’ll say what I sincerely believe. NIMBYism betrays the American dream


Geoff Page October 6, 2023 at 11:21 am

Houston?! The reason it is cheap is because it is a miserable place to live. Wait til you calculate your carbon footprint when you have to run AC for half the year and heat the other half. The only reason to live in Houston would be a job, nothing else would be worth it.


Zack October 6, 2023 at 11:31 am


I must disagree with you on this. If it were such a miserable place to live then why are so many people moving there? Indeed the weather is terrible but that does not necessarily guarantee that it will be so undesirable that no one will want to live there.

If weather was the sole determinative factor then New York City and Boston should be dirt cheap.

Houston has handled population growth reasonably well by building sufficient housing. San Diego has not and here we are.

What is the OB Rag’s position on finding some kind of solution to this issue? I spend a fair amount of time on here and I have not yet seen any comprehensive, pragmatic solutions to increasing affordable housing on here. What I do see is a lot of opposition to housing in nearly all forms. What is the OB Rag’s argument for aspiring, young homeowners like myself?


Vern October 6, 2023 at 12:07 pm

One answer for an aspiring, young homeowner like yourself? Keep it simple. Move to Houston.


Zack October 6, 2023 at 12:13 pm


So I should have to move to another state just to find affordable home-ownership opportunities? I should have to leave my city of birth, where my friends and family live?

This is not a compelling argument and it reeks of elitism. “Sorry kiddos, you’re on your own, we’ve got ours!”.

Vern October 6, 2023 at 12:35 pm

“… So I should have to move to another state just to find affordable home-ownership opportunities? I should have to leave my city of birth, where my friends and family live?..”

Well, that’s exactly what I did years back. Moved to a city in the southwest with a population just under 495,000. Bought a fixer-upper on an 8k sf lot, returned it to its original condition, then upgraded the plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical and landscaping all on my own while maintaining a full time job and running a small business out of my garage. Lived in it for five years, sold it for well over double what I bought it for, had enough to buy in SD, repeated the process.
It was fun. Sweat equity can be a good thing.

Nevertheless, Zack, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.


Zack October 6, 2023 at 12:43 pm


Were you unable to afford a home in your city of origin? A shockingly small percentage of renters can afford to buy in San Diego, at what point does that become unsustainable?

Consider the longer-term impacts at play. Middle and lower classes increasingly move away, leaving wealthier and/or already established homeowners here. As younger residents leave to buy homes and start families, the labor force continues shrinking, leaving the established older homeowner generation to pay rising costs for needed services like healthcare, assisted living, etc.

Even if I ultimately move away, I will probably be just fine, albeit sad to live far from my parents who will need my help in the future. I do think however that many of the older NIMBY types are slowly walking into a trap and they will suffer as a result.

Andrew October 10, 2023 at 7:43 pm


I owe you a beer for this beautiful display of ass-kicking Too many comments to like across this whole thread. Good work.


Zack October 10, 2023 at 7:46 pm


I appreciate the compliment!

Feel free to shoot me an email anytime at nashidi91@duck.com

Paul Webb October 17, 2023 at 3:54 pm

I know it’s hard to let reality get in the way of a good narrative, but growth in the Houston metropolitan area has really stagnated, dropping steadily from a growth rate of about 5% in 1950 to the current growth rate of 1.58%.

It’s a lot easier to accommodate growth when you don’t have very much!


Chris October 6, 2023 at 3:16 pm

I’ve never stepped foot in Houston other than the inside of an airport during layovers, but back in 2018 (as predicted in 1975) the city did have a pretty kick ass rollerball team:

And it had kind of a cool anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY-hS_G5rZ4


Paul Webb October 7, 2023 at 11:06 am

The one thing I will say about Houston is that the people I know who have moved there (long time friends and a relative) are pretty miserable and wish that they had other alternatives. I feel especially bad for some folks I know who were forced out of New Orleans by Katrina and have never found a way to move back. If I had to have bad weather, I’d sure rather be in New Orleans than Houston.

I’ve always wondered why Houston has such bad problems with flooding, which seems to happen on an annual basis. It turns out that their road network is their flood control system! Great planning, guys.


Chris October 7, 2023 at 12:20 pm

I’d imagine owning a paddleboard is must.

Chris October 6, 2023 at 1:27 pm

“If too much luxury housing is built then prices will need to come down eventually as empty condos don’t make anyone, even “greedy” developers any money.”

The problem with that argument is it’s simply not true and you do not really hold the opinion that it is. So why do you hammer on as of you DO belive that?


Zack October 6, 2023 at 2:22 pm


I DO hold this opinion sincerely. You can disagree with it all you want but why insist that I don’t?

Look at all those “ghost” cities in China where they built a shit-ton of housing that people didn’t need. Property prices there have been falling. They overbuilt! So yes, oversupply can reduce prices. We obviously don’t want to go that far, but we’re not anywhere close to providing enough housing to meet current demand levels.

Don’t believe me? Check these sources out:




Vern October 6, 2023 at 2:37 pm

Those ghost cities must be looking pretty fine to the YIMBY trickledowners. Time for a move abroad, eh?


Zack October 6, 2023 at 3:35 pm


That is a pretty condescending attitude to have towards a great number of people who struggle to afford housing here.

For those of you who are critical of efforts to increasing housing supply, what are your alternative solutions? What should be done to reduce the homeless population and prevent the younger working population from moving away? Do you have any proposals for them?

This is why so many people refer to you guys as NIMBYS. We see you making condescending, bad faith arguments about a truly terrible situation that really impacts us and rather than being sympathetic too many of you prefer being indifferent or downright cruel.

For those of you who are older OB hippy types, remember when you pushed for change and the older generation mocked you and told you that you were selfish, lazy, etc? How did that make you feel? Did it discourage you, or motivate you even more?

If so, then you can certainly empathize with how some of us millennials (among others) feel when NIMBYS (usually older Boomer types, but not always) accuse us of insincerity, encourage us to move elsewhere, call us lazy or greedy, etc.

What compromises are you wiling to accept regarding housing? What ideas can you put forward that might help alleviate this problem? Will you try to make a good faith effort or accuse everyone of corruption, dishonesty, or greed when they disagree with you?

Chris October 7, 2023 at 8:20 am

Here’s why it’s hard if not impossible for me to belive the views you express are sincere. The Insider link you provided is irrelevant. China is a whole different type of government with a drastically different culture. As to the US, high density housing not only didn’t make cities more affordable, it made them worse. THAT is why so many in San Diego are against it. That includes millennials and Gen Xers BTW, so it’s not totally a generational thing. I’m a renter myself and will likely be priced out at some point in the near future. As a boomer I will never be a homeowner at this point in my life. In most if not all cases, re-development displaced many long time residents and not helped them in the least. I know you know this.
It’s funny and confusing you talk about being an “aspiring millennial homeowner”, because all the things you advocate for will make that even less likely if you really plan on this happening in SD. I agree it’s unfair and f****d up for your generation, but nothing you advocate for will help that. I don’t have an answer as to what will and maybe their isn’t one.
Houston is an odd example you give about an “American success” story. I’ve never stepped foot un Houston (other than the inside of an airport) so have no opinion of it’s desirability. What I do know about it is that’s not known for being very bike friendly and also the city is known to not have good public transportation. It’s also not known for being very walkable other than scattered pockets here and there. You as a YIMBY I’d think would be an important issue.
And when you go on about “the American dream”, it’s just sort of cringe.
I personally would have no problem living in a high density city/neighborhood. My issue with turing SD into that kind of city is that it simply won’t make it more affordable, any more than widening the freeways will reduce traffic congestion. If it really were to bring down the cost of living I’d be all for it. In that regard I agree things like that should take precedence over views and property values.


Zack October 7, 2023 at 8:41 am


You don’t have to agree with me. But you also should stop insisting I don’t believe what I’m saying. Why would I go through all this trouble repeating myself over views I don’t actually hold? Like why would I waste my time?

There are people out there who believe this stuff. YIMBYS come in all shapes and sizes and believe me the vast majority that I’ve met are not paid off by developers. We’re mostly just frustrated.

Houston is spread out because it has strict parking minimums. I think they should eliminate them as I agree it would be better if it were more walkable.

If I may ask, if so many people are against increased housing and density then why have San Diegans voted twice to approve the Midway height limit increase? I agree people’s views on this stuff are complex but to argue that people flat out hate it is unsupported.

Finally, I’m sorry to hear you think you might be priced out at some point. It sucks! I am concerned about exactly the same thing.

Zack October 7, 2023 at 8:44 am


I’d also like to point out that my goal is not to turn all of SD into high density neighborhoods. I don’t expect that to happen in many places. What I do think is that it should be allowed to happen if there is market demand for that kind of living. I don’t believe that using arbitrary regulations to decide precisely what gets built where and exactly how it should look is appropriate for government beyond health and safety concerns.

Chris October 7, 2023 at 1:11 pm

I didn’t say most are for or against it, but many are against. Otherwise this wouldn’t be the contentious issue that it is. I personally have a more neutral stance on it but most people I personally know, including millennials and X, seem downright against it. That being said, I know few who are very much for it but what I personally is only my perspective. I think it safe to say it’s a pretty divided issue even amongst millennials.

Chris October 6, 2023 at 1:40 pm

Unlike most of the others here, I don’t have a problem with the complete re-development of Midway. It’s pretty much an armpit. In your case just be honest and stop pretending you belive the explosion of high density housing will make San Diego make more affordable. And really, come up with a better argument than pondering what a young aspiring homeowner is supposed to do lol. And explosion of high density rentals would make ownership of an actual house even more expensive.


Mateo October 7, 2023 at 8:56 am

Here are a few solutions but they won’t produce the Dark money to fiend fon or the self serving Politicos:
2.) Build saleable units.
3.) Convert apartments to condominiums
4.) Implement an exponentially sliding property tax scale, the more properties owned the higher the tax bracket to discourage Corporate hording
5.) Owner occupied units stay at current State property tax rate
6.) Only licence owner occupied B&Bs
7.) Corporate/LLC land ownership in the State? Require land owning Corporations and LLC’sto register and maintain offices in the State and County where property is owned
8.) RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL Restore the fire wall between investment banking and commercial banking and end Wall Street residential home acquistions altogether. Homes are not for corporations.
9.) Expand Secion 8 housing programs and incentivize participation in Sec 8 through tax subsidies that are now only going to Wall Street Landlords to offset the cost of keeping luxury apartment buildings nearly vacant to pressure area rents and keep them artificially high.


Mat Wahlstrom October 11, 2023 at 6:39 am

Huh, I must not have checked the “be notified of follow-up comments.” Although after reading your creepy reply, I’m glad I hadn’t.

Noticing how you routinely spam posts here d0esn’t make me a fan — just observant. Although you have clearly looked up just enough about me to lie about it. (And since you hide your identity while engaging in personal attacks, it’s apparent you add cowardice to dishonesty.)

But thank you for admitting to “claim the mantle of free market neoliberal any day of the week.” Because it’s been forty years of that discredited Reaganite agenda and counting that is the real cause of our problems.

And it’s so much easier for people to get that “YIMBY” just means “Republican.”


OBGOPer October 11, 2023 at 7:25 am

Mat I love what you write but I deeply disagree that all YIMBYs are Republicans. We’re the part of “No Way!” Just look at who was invited to the funeral for that little red house in Mission Hills:

Amy Reichart – running against Monica Montgomery Stepp
Larry Turner – running against Todd

We are clearly the part of “No More, We’re Full!”, you should join us Mat. I think we’ve got a lot in common and you would have a safe space to talk about how little housing we actually need and how much these young people, who allllllll they do is complain about how expensive housing is (get a job like I did!), are wrong about what more housing will do. We’ll welcome you with open arms.


Mat Wahlstrom October 11, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Assuming the compliment and the offer were made in good faith, then I welcome the first and politely decline the second.

What we need is more affordable, dare I say even social/public housing — which is not something I’ve ever seen self-described YIMBYs or Republicans advocate. And that requires implementing most if not all of the measures that I have championed in my articles here.

But to the extent that we can agree about the need to preserve existing affordable housing, rein in short-term vacation rentals, implement rent controls and tenant protections, reverse upzoning that only serves real estate speculation, charter a public bank, and stop the whole mishagas of Complete Communities and other harebrained “programs” that claim to promote equity but really only benefit developers, I welcome working together and agreeing to disagree about the rest.

As for Amy Reichert et al. attaching themselves to a popular cause for the sake of self-promotion (see Carl DeMaio’s attempted hijack of the “No on Measure C” campaign): just because a picnic can attract pests doesn’t mean that is the point of having one.


Chris October 12, 2023 at 7:52 am

It’s a bit more nuanced than that though. Pretty much every self professed YIMBY I know or encounter lean very left or progressive on just about all issues that divide left and right. The big exception being housing. They support this whole Republican/libertarian trickle down theory for putting a roof over people’s head but otherwise be big supporters of a single payer health system, strict gun control measures, open borders, pro choice, etc.

Chris October 11, 2023 at 7:00 pm

As much as I don’t agree with the whole trickle down theory about housing (or anything else), you are about as sharp as a bowling ball. And kind of a selfish ahole. Boo boo how hard your worked to get where you are.


Chris October 12, 2023 at 6:32 am

That was directed at OBGOPer.

Mateo October 5, 2023 at 8:52 pm

Building Nothing-But-More-Overpriced Rentals Policy has failed and in all actuality what you continue to advocate for has done nothing but perpetuate the catastrophic eviction numbers.

Democrats have gentrified the West Coast markets NOT Republicans. You can blame the Republicans for a lot, and deservingly so; but let’s stick to blaming our local Democrats for the power they have abused and what they are accountable for.
Todd Gloria learned everything he needed to know to game the system from Valerie Stallings, then he ran for State Assembly.
Todd Gloria soapboxed for the sfortification of eminent domain laws to usurp land from taxpaying California citizens.
Todd Gloria introduced 2842 to eliminate public input and neuter community planning groups.
Todd Gloria allowed Wall Street Landlords to write SB9 and SB10 and it was Toni Atkins that championed their cause.
Todd Gloria armed with newly corrupting powers ran for Mayor by spending more than $500,000 in DARK MONEY to misinform voters about a Progressive Democrat by lying and telling voters Barbara Bry supported Donald Trump and was a card carrying MAGA member Hell bent on offshore drilling in San Diego County.
(Fun Fact: the DNC and DNCC spent over $100 million supporting Trump MAGA candidates because they thought they would be easier to beat; 8 MAGA candidates won their races in large part thanks to the DNCC and DNC campaign donations)

So to answer your question yes, San Diegans should consider casting a vote for the Republican candidate because One Party Rule has devolved into what can only be described as nothing short of a Banana Republic.

The fallacy in your failed narrative is that if a San Diegan doesn’t support a Democrat that makes them, by default a MAGA Republican? Are you familiar with Washington’s Farewell Speech? Dire warnings from the wisest of all Americans in history about the catastrophic danger of putting Party over country… Is that what the Democratic Party is condoning here? Sure seems as if that is sentiment implied by Dems whenever any critical thinking, criticism or objective analysis is introduced to those profiting from manipulating the politico-corporate takeover of housing at the cost of Californian lives, bulldozing existing affordable housing and evicting seniors to die on the streets homeless.

Zack, does having conservative views or voting Republican or an Independent make someone less of a San Diegan? Does voting Independent or for the Republican candidate make someone less of an American?

San Diegan’s don’t have to support the Republicans to put Community loyalty over the groupthink mentality of One Party Rule. Anyone can support Independent candidates, support activism, call your elected Democratic officeholders and voice your malcontent, talk to your neighbors, support Open Primaries, get involved with the Anti-Corruption Bill of Represent Us and support Rank Choice Voting and help further organize the Forward Party. The San Diego Democratic Party has proven a total lost cause and needs to go the way of the Wigs. We don’t need the ever increasing number of secretive closed door (public) meetings and the complete absence of any adequate representation in this City.


Zack October 5, 2023 at 9:14 pm


I believe you misunderstand me. I do not think that voting for Republicans or Independents make someone less of a San Diegan. On the contrary, I think a little libertarian spirit could really help our wonderful city where I was born and raised.

My objective on this website is not to champion Todd Gloria or Democrats. It is to implore the readers of this website to consider the benefits of a free and fair housing market, one that is unconstrained by totalitarian NIMBYS. If Todd Gloria and San Diego Democrats make this a reality then great! However, I would be perfectly content if Republicans were elected into office and made this a reality.


Mateo October 6, 2023 at 1:57 pm

How is the poltico-corporate monopolization of housing free and fair? How has build-to-rent corporate landlordship solved any problems in the last 15 years. How has dedicating less than 3%-5% of budget, time and effor on the PREVENTION of homelessness quantify or qualify as free and fair housing? Democratic gentrification has swelled the number of out of state Real Estate Investment Trusts to 192 publicly traded companies on the NYSE and another 24 on the NASDAQ. Most, if not all of these Wall Street corporations are headquartered out of state. Just one, Invitation Homes owns 81,000 three and four bedroom houses in Southern California.

How is an Engineer and a Police Officer couple supposed to compete with Wall Street firms paying out as much as 10-15% over asking price? How is that fair and equitable?

If you have been here for the last 23 years, tell us how many tens of thousands of apartments have been built versus how many condominiums or saleable homes? Starter homes? How many tens of thousands of EXISTING affordable units have been demolished and nothing but market rate housing built in their place? Litterally targeting our barrios and low income areas for maximum profit. How is that fair and equitable?

(nimby isn’t an actual thing. It is merely a divisive abstract constructed in a feeble attempt to control a false narrative)


Tessa October 4, 2023 at 7:20 am

There needs to be an uprising against Midway Rising- and any politician who supports it.
Use the Orchard Senior Apartments just down the street as a model and demand the same. It was built on city land.
No giveaways to billionaires.


Vern October 3, 2023 at 3:27 pm

“… Brad Termini, CEO of Zephyr, one of the key players within Midway Rising, and Termini’s spouse were Mayor Todd Gloria’s top mayoral campaign contributors…”
Now that’s… “SO SAN DIEGO”!


Pat October 3, 2023 at 10:39 pm

It’s all a big game. The mayor is thankful for the help, be it top donors money or time, and needs to show how thankful he is to his buddies. Oooops, the City Real Estate Assets, Dept. messed up again, by keeping it a secret there was an 8ft. sewer line buried. And the developer didn’t use common sense in making sure there was nothing buried? Still another convoluted mess the mayor led the City into. We need to make sure we do not vote for Gloria. Larry Turner is running for Mayor. I like what he says.
Check out his webpage.


Sam October 8, 2023 at 3:01 am

The Real Estate Assets Dept didn’t keep the pipeline a “secret”, their response is “nobody asked”… just like Ash Street….


Paul Webb October 3, 2023 at 4:18 pm

I predict the next element to drop out of the project will be the public park improvements, then the sports facility.

Geoff is spot on. I cannot imagine that the 96-inch sewer just came to light. One of the first things you do in scoping out a potential project is look for major obstacles in the form of utilities, easements, etc. If they didn’t do this, they are either incompetent or are just looking for ways to pare the project down and this is a good excuse.


retired botanist October 3, 2023 at 5:52 pm

Yeah, I agree with Paul and Geoff. As a regulatory permit specialist for decades, I worked with lots of engineering firms and there is no way this sewer line could have gone undisclosed. Moreover, this script is sickeningly familiar…start out with a golden plan/proposed good intentions etc and then whittle it back, blame some non-entity, and end up with something that doesn’t even resemble what the voters/constituents/ and funders were “sold”. God, I dislike the real estate industry in this country! Its just gross.


Lyle October 3, 2023 at 7:47 pm

I agree with comments from Geoff, Paul and RB above. I just wanted to point out something that non-nerds might not instantly recognise that a 96-inch sewer is EIGHT FEET in diameter. This is a pipe that even the tallest among us could walk through without ducking (with a child on our shoulders). It is a HUGE pipe. As others have said it is totally incredible that techinical people at the contractor or City could have not known about it. They chose to not mention it. The RFP obviously should have mentioned it, etc. etc… The RFP and contractor award should be cancelled and re-advertised with appropriate data.


Ron May October 3, 2023 at 7:53 pm

A letter should be generated to the Grand Jury concerning the apparent conflict of interest between Mayor Todd Gloria and the developer and the sudden change to drop the affordable housing project. This is, after all, City of San Diego land and the City Council should either enforce the housing project or terminate the contract.


Frank Gormlie October 3, 2023 at 8:05 pm

Ron, the affordable housing element has not (yet) been dropped; the units for middle-income families has.


retired botanist October 4, 2023 at 4:28 am

Precisely, Frank. YET. Wasn’t Petco Park supposed to have all sorts of affordable housing, too? Instead, it built expensive condos rented out by the hour. We’ve seen this MO before…


Tessa October 4, 2023 at 9:08 am

What’s the next step?
Public shaming?
Yard signs?
City-wide rebellion?
With single family homes now averaging well over $900.000, this feels like the breaking point.


sam October 4, 2023 at 9:56 am

a simple tilte commitment would have shown all encumbrances on the site – no way this 8 foot pipe was a surprise. It it was, then this developer is clueless.


kh October 4, 2023 at 1:42 pm

Yup, it would take total negligence to spend any effort planning without that. I could probably find it in the city’s online surveyor records in 20 minutes.


nostalgic October 4, 2023 at 11:10 am

Are the little green braids on the picture interwoven $100 bills? That is what it looks like on the screen. I understand now.


Geoff Page October 4, 2023 at 11:49 am

On September 12, Midway Rising held its second community meeting on this project. For reasons not explained, the meeting was held on Aero Drive just west of I-15, and area that was far from Midway. For that reason, I did not attend, I decided to read what the news stations had to say about it. I could not find a single news story about this meeting, which was very puzzling considering the coverage the first meeting got.

Here is a link to the Power Point presentation at that meeting. You will note that the hotel and the 250 middle income homes are still in the project, as of barely three weeks ago.

The presentation had a slide titled “Key Milestones. “The first milestone in the timeline was “July 31, 2023 – Site due diligence completed.”

Obviously not.



Gravitas October 4, 2023 at 2:36 pm

Quash the permits!!


kh October 4, 2023 at 3:13 pm

This shows the location of the 96in sewer, directly under their proposed stadium location. This is from the city’s GIS open data portal. Nothing secret about it.



retired botanist October 4, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Stay on it! Peel back the layers of back room negligence!


nostalgic October 5, 2023 at 10:11 am

I have often been to the city records department in the past, and it was full of people in and out investigating these items: easements and right-of-way. They may have worked for Title Companies, contractors, engineers, and they looked at paper and microfiche. Dare I say they were young, but also always seemed to know exactly what they were doing. Statistically, it didn’t look so hard that a consortium of billionaires could not have hired one of them.


Tessa October 5, 2023 at 3:39 pm

The squeeze is on.
Between the short term rental “policies “, gouging landlords, mega costly condos, and
outta site single family homes, long term renters, those that are left, are hanging on by their toenails.
Thanks to our city government, the likes of such clearly aren’t welcome here anymore.


David October 5, 2023 at 5:14 pm

I’m just echoing the astonishment of others.

First, I wonder if the developers knew all along that there a pipe, then just babbled about middle income homes just to make it palatable for the council, but knew they would never build middle class homes. Conspiracy anyone?

Next, Jens usual glossing over in her statement : sit back and just watch, we know what’s best for you poor citizens. Yes. It will be beautiful….for all those wealthy enough to afford those apartments. This comment irritates me especially as she had time to push through the removal of the 30 foot limit but not enough wisdom to write that they had to make this property home to middle class as well as wealthy families and people looking for affordable housing.

Last, when will a federal or state prosecutor look into this deal? It smells like some back room deals


Mateo October 5, 2023 at 6:48 pm

Citizens can convene a grand jury investigation.


Tessa October 5, 2023 at 8:18 pm

How does this work, Mateo? Is this a real possibility?


retired botanist October 5, 2023 at 5:50 pm

True that, David….


Mateo October 6, 2023 at 8:57 am

Yes, California is a State in which citizens can convene a Grand Jury.


Frank Gormlie October 6, 2023 at 2:21 pm

Geoff Page’s letter to the editors at U-T was published:

Re “Midway Rising scraps hotel and middle-income homes from sports arena project” (Oct. 2): I find the claim that no one knew about the sewer line in the area to be astonishing. I spent my whole career in San Diego construction, since 1977. I personally encountered it at least twice, once where it runs through the center of Mission Valley and once on Harbor Drive. It eventually ends at the Point Loma treatment plant. Knowledge of that huge trunk sewer main is widespread in the construction industry.

Proposers of developments like this are supposed to do at least some “due diligence” before proposing. At a minimum, that would mean researching what is below the site they want to build on to see what major utilities, groundwater or toxic materials they may have to deal with. Basic research would have revealed this major utility.

I do not believe for one minute that no one knew about this. This is a brazen scam. This is the mayor’s mess, San Diego.

Geoff Page
Ocean Beach


retired botanist October 8, 2023 at 5:25 pm

Gawd, I just hope someone with resources will pursue this with a lawsuit against the City! Better yet, I’d like to see it as a class action lawsuit, against the City and the developers, based on multiple levels, on behalf of all taxpayers and the “promised but underserved” constituents. I’m thankful for the validation in comments…its pretty obvious there is SO MUCH wrong with this storyboard. Will look forward to the City’s rebuttal on this one, and hope the Rag, as our trusted reporters, will insist this stays on the radar!


Yessa October 10, 2023 at 8:08 pm

Class action…whatever it takes.
Meanwhile, I wish we had a Senator like Jeff Merkley of Oregon. I subscribed to his newsletter and he helping sponsor real affordable housing across that state. The king of affordable that works for firemen/ women, teachers,etc.
Too bad the Democratic Party works tp block real progressives as hard as they can.but the dates


Zack October 18, 2023 at 8:22 am


Houston Metropolitan Area grew 20% from 2010-2020.

It has just started slowing, although less so than nearly every other American city.


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