Rising Sea Levels Will Impact Sports Arena Redevelopment — Midway Rising to Hold Workshop on Nov. 29 at Jacobs Center

by on November 20, 2023 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

CBS8 News – YouTube/  Nov 16, 2023

Midway Rising will hold an informational workshop on November 29 for residents to learn more about the project and to ask any questions.
The workshop will be held at Celebration Hall at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
located at 404 Euclid Ave.

Sea levels are rising. That spells trouble for low-lying areas throughout the region, none more so than in San Diego’s Midway District and surrounding areas. And while rising sea levels will raise a number of issues in regard to flooding along coastal communities and flood-prone areas, higher sea levels will also impact infrastructure such as water and sewage lines for communities that have been there for decades as well as those soon to be built, such as the massive redevelopment of the city’s Sports Arena property.

According to recent models from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as state models, San Diego and the rest of the West Coast could see sea levels increase by four-eight inches in the next 26 years, a significant amount when factoring rising tides, high surf, and other factors.

The Midway Rising development team proposes building 4,000 new housing units, 2,000 of which are designated as affordable, as well as a new sports arena, commercial, and open space.

The project, as proposed, will be the largest affordable housing development ever to be built in the city of San Diego.

In recent months, the Midway Rising development team, comprised of Zephyr Partners, Legends Management, and Chelsea Affordable Development, notified the city that a large sewer line that runs the span of the property forced them to jettison 250 affordable units from the 2,250 proposed.

More changes, however, could be on the horizon.

According to city emails obtained by CBS 8, city planning and environmental officials are raising concerns over the rising water table.

“Based on the latest sea level rise projections from the state and modeling available through the United States Geological Survey, the project area sees very shallow groundwater, 0-1 meter by the year 2050, with increasing areas of emergent (water table at the surface) by 2100” reads a March 8 email from San Diego’s Chief Resilience Officer, Julia Chase to city planners.

Added Chase, “This raises concerns for public health and safety as well as impacts to critical infrastructure. I would recommend additional analysis of this as the project moves forward.”

Chase’s concerns are echoed by longtime hydrologist for the United States Geological Survey, Wes Dankins.

Dankins is not surprised to hear there are concerns about the impacts that rising groundwater and emergent water tables are possibly in store for Midway and surrounding areas.

“In regard to ocean and groundwater levels, there are many reasons that cause concern for development here,” said Danskin before adding, “these concerns are very real, they’re not overstated.

Danskin says the emerging water table and rising groundwater projections are only a part of the larger issues at the site. “The shallow depth to groundwater would be an engineering issue that should be looked at, the potential rise for sea level change would be appropriate to look at, as is the possibility of earthquake hazards,” said Danskin.
“The development team and the city may know this but the public may not,” he added.

Shelby Jordan from Legends, the Midway Rising representative who will focus on the construction of a new arena, said the team is working with the city to bring the project to fruition.

“Midway Rising is committed to delivering an exceptional project that creates more than 4,000 new homes for San Diegans, including 2,000 truly affordable ones, and a new, state-of-the-art entertainment center,” said Jordan. “We are working closely with City planners to conduct extensive due diligence on the site. The City will also be conducting a comprehensive environmental review of the project, which will provide the public with several opportunities to provide comments. To date, we have found nothing that would impact our ability to deliver this project to the community.”

In a statement to CBS 8, a spokesperson for the city said that rising sea levels are currently being looked at.

“City staff is aware that sea level rise is one of the many technical issues needing consideration and review for the project. As the project is undergoing review, City staff will be further exploring how the predicted sea level rise will or will not impact the project site and how the design and build-out of the project may be modified based on sea level rise and/or other issues.

Midway Rising will hold an informational workshop on November 29 for residents to learn more about the project and to ask any questions. The workshop will be held at Celebration Hall at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. located at 404 Euclid Ave.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Donnar November 20, 2023 at 4:57 pm

Huh? An Informational Workshop on a Coastal development in OB/Pt. Loma will be held in Southeast San Diego? In the middle of two of the busiest holidays of the year? Nice trick, Todd Gloria. You clearly want input from the
Community this project will affect most, don’t you? NOT.


Tessa November 27, 2023 at 8:34 pm

Mayor Gloria has been studying the Politicians’ Playbook….


Paul Webb November 21, 2023 at 12:18 pm

Donnar, and this suprises you, why?


Zack November 21, 2023 at 10:38 pm

Oh no! The sea level will be rising! I guess it’s a water of time to rebuild the OB pier since it will be underwater. We’ll probably have to clear out everyone living near the beach in OB as well so we can save them from the upcoming calamity.


Paul Webb November 22, 2023 at 10:24 am

Zack, what, exactly, is a water of time?


Zack November 22, 2023 at 12:56 pm


Meant to say “matter of time”.


chris schultz November 22, 2023 at 2:30 pm

I think that’s the waste of water the city released from Lake Hodges.


Paul Webb November 23, 2023 at 9:29 am

Chris, actually sounds like a new fantasy series on Amazon Prime.


sealintheSelkirks November 22, 2023 at 3:00 am

Remember, these estimates are CONSERVATIVE as are just about all science-based public information releases. Very conservative as a matter of fact, and probably bordering on the exceptionally optimistic given how this kind of knowledge gets released to the public by the nannies who don’t want to alarm anybody.

Think IPCC and how they’ve been behind the 8-ball for 28 years of COP meetings.

If any of the melting, crumbling glaciers in Antarctica (Pine Island, Thwaites) suffer a catastrophic collapse, entirely possible at this point being as we are in unknown territory when it comes to the immediate consequences of our global blast furnace heating the atmosphere and oceans at rates never before seen in this planet’s history.

Remember that just a few months ago in the deepest coldest part of Antarctica’s winter it was 79’F above normal…and ice shelves, the ‘plugs’ that keep the glaciers on land from sliding into the ocean, are disappearing at a really alarming rate. I mean, many are just gone already.

But then these people don’t care because they want to make more money. That is all that matters. The ‘screw anybody that gets in their way’ attitude is blatantly visible, and the timing and placement of this ‘Informational Workshop,’ which I assume will be nothing more that a PR stunt, is a perfect example.

Why is it I keep getting reminded of the conference table scene of government leaders in movie Idiocracy when this comes up?



sealintheSelkirks November 28, 2023 at 2:00 pm

Here’s a very good read about why there never seems to be anybody in charge that has any clue to anything beyond ‘market share’ and ‘quarterly profits.’ And how to keep the corporate campaign contributions flowing in…

And then there are the learned professors of economics who think they are climate scientists. Or never even bother to think about what consequences their greedy ideology is going to create.

This is a really good article on human economics and…everything else that exists. “The human economy,” wrote Daly, “is a fully contained wholly dependent growing subsystem of the non-growing ecosphere” and that says a lot, doesn’t it?

When Idiot Savants Do Climate Economics

How an elite clique of math-addled economists hijacked climate policy.



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