A rendering of the new stadium. Plans call for it to be built well before new classrooms and other buildings. Courtesy SDSU

The San Diego City Council will require a minimum level of affordable housing at the Mission Valley Stadium site, members decided Monday.

The council unanimously voted to set some parameters on multiple parts of a draft purchase and sale agreement. Chief among those was a 10% affordable housing minimum.

San Diego State University offered $86.2 million to buy the property from the city.

The parties intend to exchange a 135-acre parcel, which SDSU would redevelop into a 35,000-seat stadium. Plans also call for a satellite campus, a park along the San Diego River, commercial and residential space and a bridge extending Fenton Parkway over the San Diego River.

Tom McCarron, senior vice president of the Mission Valley Project for SDSU, said it would increase the university’s academic space by 50%. The university also plans to build 4,600 units of housing, 80 acres of parkland, 400 hotel rooms and more than 13,000 parking spaces at the site.

The stadium would be used primarily by the university’s football team. The final plans, though are subject to market forces, McCarron said.

Monday’s council meeting focused on 10 individual aspects of the sale and the future development. Some aspects displeased council members.

“The city is not a real estate developer,” Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry said, of a proposal to increase affordable housing above the 10% level. “Our job is not to micromanage the development of this site.”

Voters approved the sale of the stadium property, located at 9449 Friars Road, in November 2018. Measure G required any development to include some affordable housing for students and faculty. It also required a river park and transit-friendly elements.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s staff will negotiate on behalf of the city, with SDSU’s lawyers. They will work to iron out disagreements before bringing agreements back before the City Council.

Negotiations could take weeks, so the city has not scheduled a new date.

The city, however, aims to close escrow in March. SDSU’s offer includes the assumption of  responsibility for maintaining the current stadium and demolishing it when required.

SDSU would construct the 34-acre park, estimated to cost $30 million, within seven years of the sale agreement. That must also take place prior to the occupancy of any other building on the land, save for the stadium.

Under the terms of the agreement, SDSU would also indemnify the city from lawsuits having to do with the environmental impact report, campus master plan, sale agreement and the stadium’s current condition.

The university expects to break ground on the project in early 2020, with completion set for 2037. a total cost of $3 billion.

– City News Service

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