Horton Plaza project gets state approval

Dept. of Finance reverses previouis decision

SAN DIEGO - The state Department of Finance, reversing a previous decision, decided that San Diego can use leftover redevelopment funds to pay for a project at Horton Plaza, City Council President Todd Gloria said Wednesday.

About $14 million in redevelopment funds will be spent to renovate the downtown plaza and raze a building to make room for a 1.3-acre park set to open next year.

"Horton Plaza Park will be a great benefit to our downtown neighborhood and an asset in which all San Diegans can take pride," Gloria said. Her district include the project.

The state is reconsidering several other San Diego requests for redevelopment funding.

After the governor abolished municipal redevelopment agencies last year to help buoy state revenues, state officials denied funding for several projects already in the works, including debt service for Petco Park and an expansion of the Convention Center.

Municipal redevelopment agencies were funded by the differential rise in property tax revenue stemming from the value added to a property by improvements. And more than 400 redevelopment agencies statewide were depriving the state of significant property tax revenue.

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