Horton Plaza redevelopment project

The transformation of downtown San Diego is the poster child for redevelopment at its best, but it remains undone. If Governor Brown is able to eliminate redevelopment agencies, major projects, including a Chargers stadium, will not be completed.

Other projects with completion risks include the expansion of Horton Plaza park, which was approved by city council Tuesday, and a 2-acre waterfront park approved by the Port Commission Tuesday afternoon.

At Horton Plaza the city and developer Westfield America have agreed to demolish the building that fronts Horton Plaza Park, where Planet Hollywood used to be, and make it a public space.

But redevelopment dollars are part of the deal. “We're gonna tear down this building completely, we would triple the size of the park and be able to hold public functions here, gathering places, New Year's eve celebrations, you name it,” said City Council President Kevin Faulconer.

Opponents of the north Embarcadero visionary plan won a years long battle to get more open space, a 2-acre park, along the waterfront north of the Broadway Pier. And again redevelopment dollars are part of the deal.

Timing and approval from the Coastal Commission is critical, and usually takes about 6-months. If not done sooner, redevelopment dollars may not be available if Governor Brown and the legislature abolish the state's redevelopment agencies.

Ironically, the redevelopment agency's cap was recently lifted freeing up another 9-billion dollars to advance these projects. Redevelopment dollars re-built downtown, but the job remains undone.

San Diego downtown is supposed to absorb a good portion of growth over the next 25-years. It needs to have fresh infrastructure, sidewalks, private developers, and people in downtown. Without redevelopment dollars that will not happen.

Categories: KUSI