Religious foundation constructs $160 million resort, conference center in Mission Valley

MISSION VALLEY (KUSI)- A $160 million resort and conference center is under construction in Mission Valley. When it’s completed, the religious themed Legacy International Center is expected to attract people of faith from around the world. The foundation that is building the complex on the 18 acre site is led by world renowned evangelist Morris Cerullo.

The 87 year old Christian minister has been traveling the globe for 70 years and wants Americans to share in his experience. Jim Penner, the executive director of the Legacy Center Foundation said Cerullo has spent of his time in ministry outside the United States.

“He would say, you know, Americans know very little about the world around them. A lot of what this Center is, is exploring all of these different things and saying there is a common thing that pulls us together and that’s a God who loves us,” Penner said.

When the Center is completed, there will be an upscale hotel, a museum with a domed theater and interactive exhibits, a pavilion with a training center, conference space and a 500 seat performing arts theater, as well as a separate parking structure.

In the area between the museum and the pavilion, there will be a entry courtyard with a wall that resembles the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In the museum, a large globe with huge television screens and interactive panels will allow visitors to learn more about communities in different parts of the globe.

Architect Vincent Mudd said the Center should be a place where people of all faiths can come together.

“We think that once you have a facility that encourages people to come, of all faiths and non-faith, to come and learn about each other, you think people will love more and we think the level of hatred in this world will go down,” Mudd said.

When first proposed, the Legacy Center sparked criticism from people who questioned the attitudes of the evangelical foundation towards the gay community. Other critics said the Center would bring too much traffic to the area. To ease the fears of traffic congestion. the developer is adding two more traffic lanes.

In responding to those who are uncertain that all will be welcome, Penner said, “This is a monument to God and we are making it accessible, making it very accessible,” Penner said.

The Legacy Center is expected to be finished and ready to open by November of next year.

Categories: Local San Diego News