Midway Village +: The Toll Brothers team will make a new offer on the San Diego sports arena site

The opportunity to redevelop one of the largest masses of real estate available in the city is shaping up to be the must-see sporting event of the season as rival teams beef up their rosters and craft better playbooks. The game, a city-hosted competition for 48 acres of land around the Midway District sports arena, is going to be long – but that doesn’t stop the contestants from trying to cause early noise from the crowds.

On Sunday, luxury home builder Toll Brothers and its partners staged an official comeback campaign at a private event where community members were introduced to the thinking behind the new Midway Village + plan.

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The brand new strategy, which seeks to turn last year’s losing bid into a winning bid, centers around houses for people of different income levels, a large park for everyone in the area to enjoy. enjoy and a forever facility for Loyal San Diego football. team. It’s amplified by the addition of a ringtone in the entertainment business that has promised to build a new arena at its own expense.

The revelation comes less than two weeks after the City of San Diego announced the sports arena plots were back on the market and days after Brookfield Properties said it was ready to make an offer.

“We aspire to do something that can be emblematic of the direction of the city,” said David Malmuth, San Diego-based development consultant and director of the Midway Village + project. “The Midway neighborhood is a devastated area…. It kind of became the dumping ground for all the things that couldn’t go anywhere else – strip clubs, big box stores (stores), and fast food restaurants. This is one of the few places in San Diego where it feels like it could be Anywhere USA. Now there is an opportunity to set a new standard.

Recently released concept drawings and a site plan outline a large project, built in six phases that extends beyond the perimeter of the 48 acres currently on the market. It will cost billions of dollars, and will likely require a lot of luck, to bring it to life. Unlike last time, accommodation is at the heart of the plan.

The Midway Village + development team envisions a 12-acre central park with a skate park, walk and bike baths, and a creek.

(Courtesy, McCullough Landscape Architecture and AVRP Studios)

There will be a “substantial increase” in the proposed number of housing units this time around, Malmuth said without disclosing the exact number because he doesn’t want the competition to know the split again.

Last year, Toll Brothers attempted to win the site with a vision of a sports and entertainment district that included only 1,400 homes. The proposal was ultimately beaten by an offer from Brookfield, which pledged 2,100 units and wowed city officials.

The 2020 game turned out to be more of a scrum.

The city’s process, a conventional RFP solicitation, was invalidated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The agency, tasked with enforcing a revised new surplus land law, said San Diego should, among other things, have given builders of affordable housing the first right of refusal. The city’s second attempt to unload its real estate began on October 4, when it issued what is known as an “availability notice,” alerting developers of affordable housing registered with the state that it is ready to rent its plots at 3500, 3250, 3220 and 3240, boul.

Interested bidders must this time come up with a redevelopment plan that includes at least 25 percent of the proposed housing units reserved for low-income families.

The Toll Brothers team will reach the threshold with the help of lead developer at Midway Village + Bridge Housing, who works alongside MAAC. The duo are responsible for the affordable units of the project, reserved for families earning 30 to 80% of the median income in the region. The new member of the Waterford Property Company team, which specializes in middle-income housing, is committed to producing apartments for households earning 80 to 120% of the median income in the area. Their collective contributions will represent half of all units at the site, Malmuth said.

The other half will be apartments at market price. Toll Brothers envisions a cohesive neighborhood with buildings of various sizes, shapes and styles carefully scattered around the outskirts of the site.

“At the start of the project, the plan is considered a big project, but as you go along the plan becomes a mosaic of different rooms, including market-priced housing,” said Michael McCann, who heads the development. and the acquisition of Toll. Southern California Brethren Division. “We will ensure that the design and execution are specific to the sub-parts of this project, and therefore appealing to a wide range of people. In other words, we will avoid at all costs a homogeneous set of apartments at market price.

A rendering of the Midway Village + arena

A render from Midway Village + shows the main entrance to the arena proposed by the project, which would be built and funded by Oak View Group. A separate event center and hotel are shown in the background.

(Courtesy, McCullough Landscape Architecture and AVRP Studios)

At the center of Midway Village +, new lead developer Oak View Group will build – and pay for it – a $ 450 million or more sports arena with 15,000 to 17,000 seats. Here, the Los Angeles-based company plans to book top entertainment shows year-round. The relatively young company, founded six years ago by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and music mogul Irving Azoff, has already spent more than $ 5.5 billion in private capital on arena projects nowadays. Its first bet, Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, will open on October 22 and will host the new National Hockey League expansion team, the Seattle Kraken.

“Our interest is really simple, we want to bring a new arena to San Diego. We don’t need public subsidies. We will fund it 100 percent, privately. We will be carbon neutral from day one, ”said Francesca Bodie, President of Business Development for Oak View. “San Diego deserves a new, world-class arena that can generate the kind of content the community would love to see regularly. “

The plan also includes a hotel, shops, restaurants, offices, a skate park, bicycle and pedestrian paths and neighborhood schools. It even provides a temporary and long-term home for the Loyal, the USL Championship league football team from San Diego. The club would start with a 12,000-15,000-seat modular football stadium in the first phase, but would later move to a 20,000-seat MLS-caliber stadium on an adjacent plot owned by the city that the Toll Brothers Group would also like to praise. .

“We see what we’re doing as an opportunity, really a responsibility, to try not only to become an economic catalyst (for the Midway neighborhood), but to demonstrate how to do density in a way that creates beautiful public spaces. , and a much more pedestrian-friendly mix of uses, ”said Malmuth.

Toll Brothers, Bridge and Oak View, which will fund their respective parts of the project and also share the costs associated with public amenities, have until December 3 to respond to the city’s notice of availability. However, the due date is more of a starting point than a finish line; the city is required to negotiate for three months with all qualified stakeholders.

San Diego officials also said they plan to present proposals to city council members next year before selecting a winner. This means that Toll Brothers and Brookfield will fight a duel again. This latest developer is also back with a reworked concept called Discover Midway that includes a range of housing types, active parks and green spaces, as well as a redesigned arena. Another entity led by The ConAm Group, an apartment builder and property management company, has also entered the fray, though details of its plan are not yet known.

Anyone can win or lose. At this time, there is no scorecard that San Diego will use to assess proposals. The city must prioritize teams with the most affordable units at the lowest average affordability level, and it said it would only consider proposals with a new or renovated arena.

About Geraldine Higgins

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