Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at groundbreaking ceremony for Ballpark Village. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Developers, community groups and the city of San Diego joined in the groundbreaking Friday for a 37-story apartment tower adjacent to Petco Park in downtown’s East Village.

The 720-unit Ballpark Village project, some 10 years in the making, was developed by JMI Realty and will be built by Greystar. Some of the units will be set aside for affordable housing.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer hailed the public-private partnership involved and its impact on revitalizing the East Village neighborhood.

“We do great things in this city when we work together,” he told a crowd gathered for the groundbreaking.

The agreement between the developers and the city includes a commitment to provide 163 units of affordable housing and living-wage jobs during construction and afterward.

“Ballpark Village provides a timely model for future development in San Diego,” said Peter Brownnell, research director for the Center on Policy Initiatives. The organization said community involvement and a community benefits agreement should be required for any development receiving taxpayer dollars.

Ballpark Village will rise on 3.9 acres bounded by Park Boulevard and Imperial and 12th avenues, just east of Petco Park, and will  include 58,000 square feet of retail space and 267 public parking spaces for Padres games and special events.

The City Council approved a transfer of the development agreement to Greystar, from JMI Realty, at last Monday’s meeting.

The project is expected to be completed in 2018, though the first apartments would be ready for occupancy in the third quarter of 2017.

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