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By Ronald W. Powell
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 11, 2005
A proposed $1.4 billion development east of Petco Park that supporters liken to New York City's Rockefeller Center is meeting opposition from the San Diego Unified Port District and waterfront interests that see it as a threat to maritime-related businesses.
The 7.1-acre development, called Ballpark Village, is proposed by Lennar Homes and JMI Realty, the development company of Padres owner John Moores. It would have five towers, with at least two rising more than 40 stories, and include 1,350 condominiums and apartments, plus offices, retail stores and a hotel.
A committee of the Centre City Development Corp., the city's downtown redevelopment agency, is scheduled to vote today on the proposal, with the agency's full board likely to vote on it later this month.
The City Council could vote on the project by July and, if approved, construction could start this year.
Port District President Bruce Hollingsworth said he is concerned that the proposal calls for developing residential towers on the land closest to the port's 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
Over time, he said, the residents living in what will be expensive condominiums and apartments probably will tire of the traffic, noise and view of the industrial activities and begin agitating for closure of the terminal.
Hollingsworth said residential development has sprouted alongside ports or industrial property in other parts of the country, and he does not want to see that happen here.
"We're not trying to stop JMI from developing the property," Hollingsworth said. "We just want them to consider building the 40-story towers further back in the development and away from Harbor Drive."
The condominiums may range from below $200,000 to more than $2 million, a project spokesman said.
Hollingsworth said, "When you have 1,500 or so people in an area across the street from railroad or industrial uses, there will come a time when they won't want to look at those uses. In the long run, they'll say, 'Get out of here. We don't want you around anymore.' "
The Port District, the Navy and several of the largest waterfront businesses, including National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., have sent protest letters to the downtown redevelopment agency, which has negotiated the development terms for Ballpark Village. They want the agency to conduct a new environmental report on the proposed development instead of amending an old report, as is planned.
Some of the business people are worried because Moores has said the 10th Avenue terminal does not do enough business to justify its existence, and he advocates the Chargers' using the site for a football stadium, an idea the team has rejected.
Moores also has hired as a consultant former state Sen. Steve Peace, who downsized the Port District when he was in the Legislature.
1999 report
Peter Hall, president of the Centre City Development Corp., said Ballpark Village and its effect on the area were taken into account in an environmental report prepared in 1999 and that a new one is not needed.
Port officials commented on the 1999 environmental report and did not raise objections to residential development, Hall said.
He also pointed out that the port has approved construction of a 1,200-room Hilton hotel to serve the San Diego Convention Center next door to the 10th Avenue terminal.
"What they're doing is whooping and hollering now," Hall said. "I think this is more political than anything else."
Charles Black, JMI's executive vice president, said the worries are misguided.
"They're good people and important to San Diego's economy," Black said. "But what you're seeing is hysteria and paranoia on the part of the port and its tenants. This project does not pose a threat to them."
The clash of government agencies is over two pieces of property near San Diego Bay where the development would be built.
The larger portion is a 3.9-acre triangle bounded by Park Boulevard on the west, 12th Avenue on the east and Imperial Avenue on the south. The remaining 3.2 acres is a rectangle south of Imperial Avenue on Park Boulevard.
The master plan proposes 3.2 million square feet of development. When completed, it would generate an estimated $20 million a year in property, sales and hotel room taxes, according to the redevelopment agency.
John Kratzer, president of JMI Realty, said Ballpark Village is part of the commercial development that was planned in the East Village around Petco Park, which opened last year.
Building heights would range from about 10 stories on the northern edge of the development to 42 or 43 stories on the southernmost part of the property closest to the marine terminal. Five towers are planned, and the design requires that no two look alike.
The project would have 2.2 million square feet of housing, at least 300,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store, and a hotel of at least 150 rooms.
A portion of the housing would be set aside for affordable residences, but a specific amount hasn't been decided.
"It's going to be a world-class project," Kratzer said.
To make the development distinctive, JMI held a design competition last year that attracted 44 architectural and design teams across the country. At the conclusion of the 10-week contest, the Los Angeles firm of Johnson Fain was selected.
"The reality is we're looking to create a destination like Rockefeller Center in New York," Kratzer said.
Conflicts seen
But waterfront businesses say homes in the area won't make for good neighbors.
"I think the encroachment of residential on a major industrial area is the beginning of the end of industrial," said Patti Krebs, executive director of the Industrial Environmental Association. "It is sure to cause conflicts."
The public policy association, which promotes reasonable and cost-effective environmental laws and regulations, is privately funded by 50 manufacturers in San Diego County, many of them on the waterfront.
She said homeowners will not like the 24-hour operations of a working port – the lights, the noise, the traffic.
"It might deter day-to-day industrial operations and prevent future expansion," Krebs said. "We see the waterfront as vibrant and growing."
Krebs sent a letter last week to the Centre City Development Corp. requesting that it conduct a new environmental study on the project.
The Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association and the San Diego Bay's Working Waterfront Group, which includes NASSCO, the U.S. Navy and the Port District, sent letters making the same request.
Krebs said waterfront groups would prefer the project's office and commercial uses, rather than residences, be built nearest the port's terminal. The offices and commercial enterprises would serve as a buffer between residents and the industrial areas, she said.
"I think a transition area makes sense," Krebs said.
George Palermo, chairman of the Port Tenants Association, said there is concern among the more than 200-member group about Moores' project, in part because the Padres owner has hired Peace.
Peace sponsored legislation that led to the January 2003 separation of Lindbergh Field from the Port District, and they fear he may try to shut down the 10th Avenue terminal, Palermo and others said.
Peace said he is working on several "eclectic" projects for Moores, including tasks involving the University of California Board of Regents, on which Moores is a trustee. None of his work involves the 10th Avenue terminal, he said.
"That's just paranoia," Peace said.


Oh Please be Built! That area is flat and needs big, BIG buildings.
 

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Wow, that would be really nice if this gets built. I really hope these groups don't pose too much hassle. Phoenix is full of people, organizations, NIMBYs, etc., like that ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
San Diego is also. There a man here named Bruce Henderson...biggest NIMBY in the world! He single handedly stopped the ballparks construction for a least a year with lawsuits. He lost fortunetly, but at a cost of millions to the city. This will be built, if we can get a ballpark done, we can get this done. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
612bv3 said:
By the way, have you ever thought about making a San Diego Development News Thread?
All the time...lol.
I don't know if I would be able to maintain it, plus their aren't many San Diego supporters here to sustain it (sorry if that offends some of you) But I would love to do it, theirs so much going on here...
 

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Just start one, it doesn't matter if no one really maintains it, someone should really start representing SD here in the West Coast Forum, even Sacramento has one. If you don't start one, I'll do it myself. :)
 

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San Diegos great, and I love it. But it isnt the most exciting place in terms of skyscrapers and skyline. I dont know if a thread about development will go down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^true but if you go to the skyscraperpage forum theirs a San Diego Construction thread and wow! omg its like thirty pages long and makes us SD forumers look like cavemen...but with that said their should be a construction thread here. :)
 

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I think the notion of thriving ports is pretty much a myth. San Francisco turned much of its port area into a tawdry amusement center (Fisherman's Wharf), and Oakland is likewise not running beyond capacity. Smaller ports within the Bay have a rough time, and all port areas seem to have fairly idle industrial areas surrounding them. I imagine shipping and maritime transfer of goods is still alive (but far from surging) in some parts of the State, though. :)

As I see things, the proposal you describe, SDfan, is forward looking. :eek:kay: Unlike other cities, I hope SD will approve this thing rather than nix it on the basis of some unrealistic dreams of a future surge in shipping & related industries ...

IF that comes, I'm sure municipalities will be able to deal with it, but why put things on hold and condemn valuable parts of town to lie vacant for years on end in anticipation of a shot in the arm that mayy never come?

I say GO! :horse:

P.S. re: Moores

Why do the Regents of the University of California all seem to be captains of industry and commerce? :bash:
 

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This thing will get built. With the city in desperate need of money this will at least bring in some extra tax money for the coffers. There is no way the city council is going to shoot this down because of some bullshit spewed by the Port Commision.

Homepage is right, the LA/Longbeach Harbor is king. San Diego missed its chance to become a big cargo port a century ago when LA built its man made harbor and we were snoozing in the sunshine. So they got the cargo and we got the Navy.

This will probably start construction later this year or early next. Things seem to be kind of moving slowly downtown right now. I am pissed that Library Circle got postponed until early 2006. And when is Palm Plaza, Inter Continental Hotel, and that sail shaped hotel next to the convention center going to get going? Those projects have been lagging for years now.
 

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Thanks for the update.

mello said:
This thing will get built. With the city in desperate need of money this will at least bring in some extra tax money for the coffers. There is no way the city council is going to shoot this down because of some bullshit spewed by the Port Commision.

Homepage is right, the LA/Longbeach Harbor is king. San Diego missed its chance to become a big cargo port a century ago when LA built its man made harbor and we were snoozing in the sunshine. So they got the cargo and we got the Navy.

This will probably start construction later this year or early next. Things seem to be kind of moving slowly downtown right now. I am pissed that Library Circle got postponed until early 2006. And when is Palm Plaza, Inter Continental Hotel, and that sail shaped hotel next to the convention center going to get going? Those projects have been lagging for years now.
Man! whoa you mean that the library will be delayed again. Rob Quigley ( architect) did a great job designing the new main library, hope his design won't get lost with all this delays. I was watching SDTV cable sort local version of CSPAN ( yeah there was nothing good on cable that time lol) and Pinnacle Internaional was proposing to CCDC Board, a 3 towers (40+) and a mid rise, where parking will be underground covered a park. I think it will be around 850-900 units. It is somewhere east village I near or across Lilian Place.
 

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babylon falling
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^^ No I'm talking about One Library Cirle, the 480 foot super thin condo tower. As far as the Main Library goes, I haven't heard when that is supposed to start.

About the other developement, it sounds sweet, where exactly is Lilian Place?? Bring on the housing units we need all we can get. Wow 3 more 40 plus towers, East Village is going to be seriously going off if that and Ballpark Village are going at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was actually watching a CCDCmeeting at city hall on the local broadcast channel (don't ask why...) and they had designs for Ballpark Village. Its all pretty much a go form what they were saying and the renderings were great. They had no timetable really but they board had issues with parking and what not. Just the usual showing of concern.

As for the New Main Library the date is said to 2007-2010 from what I hear. I also saw some great pictures of renderings from new projects in the east village at Skyscraperpage.com. There was a project by pinnacle that had two towers, one about 370 the other 450 I think. They both looked great from what I saw. I would like to see what this three tower project looks like. Hope its built soon.
 

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mello said:
^^ No I'm talking about One Library Cirle, the 480 foot super thin condo tower. As far as the Main Library goes, I haven't heard when that is supposed to start.

About the other developement, it sounds sweet, where exactly is Lilian Place?? Bring on the housing units we need all we can get. Wow 3 more 40 plus towers, East Village is going to be seriously going off if that and Ballpark Village are going at the same time.
For some reason I think by Lilian, the post was referring to Island. I couldn't find a Lilian Place in East Village or Downtown. Island however, is slated per the plan update

http://www.ccdc.com/planupdate/pdf/cp_chap_3.pdf

to have a high ceiling right in the east village area. There is also a slated section that is to have even taller buildings, ranging above 500 feet to possibly 600 with added ammenities per the plan update.

check out this overview map. it is a great idea of how a proposed future downtown SD will look. changes of course are that the the ballpark village is going to be much taller than even this update figured with multiple highrises rather than the one shown. anyway, check it out. pretty cool.

 

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I second the motion 612bv3, we need a development thread San Diego, I am not savy enough to do it perhaps someone who has the talent and time create a dev thread. I'll support it!
 
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