San Diego Civic Center redevelopment a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity

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California Construction News staff writer

Mayor Todd Gloria says he has selected a panel of community leaders to plan the redevelopment of the civic core, which comprises six city-owned blocks in San Diego.

The civic center revitalization citizens committee includes:

  • Betsy Brennan, president and CEO, Downtown San Diego Partnership
  • Brigette Browning, secretary-treasurer, San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council
  • Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
  • Julie Corrales, policy advocate, Environmental Health Coalition and Barrio Logan Planning Group Chair
  • Colleen Fitzsimmons, executive director, SD Green Building Council
  • Donna Jones, land use attorney
  • Carol Kim, business manager, San Diego Building Trades Council
  • Jennifer Luce, principal and architect, LUCE et studio
  • Stephen Russell, president and CEO, San Diego Housing Federation

Following the purchase of the 101 Ash Street and Civic Center Plaza buildings in August as part of a legal settlement, the city is expected to offer a large, contiguous plot of land for redevelopment under the Surplus Land Act.

Situated directly on a trolley line, the land has enormous potential to address San Diego’s affordable housing needs, along with the office space needs of the City’s more than 2,000 Downtown workers and public-serving facilities.

“The Civic Center redevelopment is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redeploy underused land right in the heart of downtown to address longstanding critical needs of the City and the people we serve,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “It’s the perfect place for new homes served directly by transit, and it’s long past time to retire some of our dilapidated city buildings and improve the basic working conditions for our employees.

“Thinking beyond those needs, the committee will help engage the public across San Diego to bring a fresh perspective to how we can best deploy these land assets for the greater civic good.”

The first step is to gather public feedback from stakeholders and the broader public to ensure the bidding teams know San Diegans’ ideas and priorities for the redevelopment.

“The revitalization of the civic core is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that can provide enormous benefits,” said Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. “Through the redevelopment the city can address several long-standing problems, including our severe deficit of affordable homes and inadequate and outdated office space that fails to meet residents’ and employees’ needs.”

Members of the committee must agree in writing that neither they nor their immediate family members or companies will participate in any future bid seeking the award of the redevelopment rights.

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