San Diego city council to hold public hearing on mayor’s proposal for 1,000-bed homeless shelter near airport

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California Construction News staff writer

San Diego city council will hold a public hearing on Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposal to build a 1,000-bed homeless shelter between the San Diego airport and the Interstate 5 freeway. A date has not been released.

City councillors have met in private to discuss the lease of a 65,000-sq. ft. warehouse at Kettner Boulevard and Vine Street and using public money to renovate the site.

The mayor says the shelter – which would be the largest in the city – is needed to get more people into shelter and on a path to permanent housing.

According to the June 7 council meeting agenda, council met “with its negotiators for an update on the price and payment terms for the city’s potential acquisition of an interest or estate in the real property located at 3554-3590 Kettner Boulevard.”

“For months, the city has negotiated aggressively on behalf of taxpayers in order to lower costs and bring about more favorable deal terms based off the feedback from the public and City Council,” Gloria and Council President Elo-Rivera said in a statement. “The mayor will be requesting a public hearing … of the proposed Kettner and Vine homeless shelter, and the Council President has committed to efficiently processing that request.”

Staff estimate it will take about 18 months to renovate the bathrooms to add showers, install a commercial kitchen, upgrade the HVAC system and make other improvements. Operating the shelter would cost roughly $30 million per year, according to the mayor’s office, and its capacity would have to be gradually scaled up to 1,000 beds over time.

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