SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – If the chargers head to Carson next year, Qualcomm Stadium, and 166 acres of prime real estate will be up for grabs.
Should the city develop it for public purposes, or turn it over to private development?
Gary London of the London Realty Group, who has been an adviser on most every major development project in the city of San Diego for the last 35-years says the city cannot ignore the property's prospective value to the taxpayers. London adds that if the Qualcomm site loses the Chargers, that acreage becomes a developers dream.
“If the city sets the table for a competitive opportunity amongst developers, you'll see major international master plan developers putting a bid in for this site to develop it,” said London.
There is enough land at the site to have a river park, more open space and a mixed use development that could accommodate six million square feet of commercial space, four thousand housing units or even a smaller stadium to accommodate San Diego State and the holiday bowl games that San Diego hosts.
The location has plenty of access, is centrally located and is away from the density in the western Mission Valley malls.
The biggest factor depends on whether you develop 100-acres or all 166 acres.
A part of that discussion would be a proposed ballot initiative, the so-called Briggs initiative to increase the hotel tax and shifting those funds to the city treasury to better manage our tourism dollars. London says an aspect of that initiative would be to downsize the Mission Valley development potential.
London says we can't look past the obvious opportunities with a property like this. There isn't any other site like it in the city. It is big and centrally located.
The part of the density argument that will be fought over the most, whether or not development happens in mission valley, will be the strong need for housing in San Diego.
There is no land left in the city for housing and the obvious answer is to begin building vertically.