Pechanga Arena San Diego is situated in the heart of the Midway District. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The city has received notice from the state that the proposed Sports Arena development is likely in violation of the Surplus Land Act, prompting Mayor Todd Gloria to announce Thursday that he intends to begin a new bid process for the site prioritizing affordable housing and complying with state law.

“This is yet another example of a flawed real estate deal from the previous administration where San Diegans are now left with little to show for a significant investment of time and resources,” Gloria said in a prepared statement.

“I am committed to work quickly to restart this process in compliance with  the Surplus Land Act,” he said. “It is critical that we do not squander this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a modern arena through a process that prioritizes the affordable housing our region desperately needs.”

After the state Department of Housing and Community Development released its final guidelines for the SLA in April, the city requested a review of the Sports Arena development plan. HCD concluded the city may be in violation of the SLA because it did not properly follow the act’s declaration and noticing procedures.

Then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced last August that Brookfield Housing and ASM Global were chosen to build an entertainment district in the Midway area — including a new sports arena, thousands of housing units, park space and retail businesses.

Gloria intends to bring an item before the City Council next month to restart the process.

The Sports Arena redevelopment area encompasses around 48 acres in the Midway-Pacific Highway Community area. In 2010, the city and local community members began updating the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan, which serves as a blueprint for the future development of the neighborhood. The plan envisions the Sports Arena Community Village, which would incorporate a mix of entertainment, office, retail, residential, public and park uses.

–City News Service

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