A rendering of the SDSU Mission Valley official site plan.

The city of San Diego and San Diego State University announced Friday the beginning of negotiations over the university’s purchase of the former Qualcomm Stadium property.

City and SDSU officials are negotiating sale terms for a 132-acre parcel of land in Mission Valley containing what is now SDCCU Stadium. If all goes according to plan, SDSU will re-develop the site into a 35,000-seat athletic stadium, a campus extension, a park along the San Diego River and commercial and residential space.

“Before us is a golden opportunity to turn the city’s most underutilized piece of real estate into something special that will benefit the entire San Diego region,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “We will negotiate an agreement with SDSU that respects taxpayers, fulfills the will of the voters and allows for the university’s future growth.”

The city entered into a memorandum of understanding with the California State University Board of Trustees that details facets of the negotiations like public records requests and consultation regarding the California Environmental Quality Act.

The city’s nine-person negotiating team includes COO Kris Michell, Deputy Planning Director Alyssa Muto and Public Utilities Department Assistant Director John Helminski, while SDSU’s team includes the university’s CFO, Tom McCarron, and former president, vice president and CFO Sally Roush.

Roush was SDSU’s interim president when the university broke off negotiations with FS Investors, the La Jolla-based investment firm that would eventually launch the competing SoccerCity initiative. Roush unveiled the SDSU West plan with other university officials in November 2017.

“Each team member brings to the table knowledge and expertise that will be critical to the success of these discussions,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “I am confident they will ensure this process proceeds in a way that is fair and equitable to both the university and San Diego residents.”

Voters approved the so-called SDSU West plan during the mid-term election last November, favoring the university’s plan over the venture capital-backed SoccerCity initiative. SDSU announced Thursday the selection of Clark Construction, the builder of Petco Park, to design and build the new stadium to replace SDCCU Stadium.

— City News Service

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