San Ysidro business community pushes federal government to include building at Port of Entry

UETA hopes to build new $50 million facility

SAN DIEGO - Construction on the nation's busiest port of entry is not doing its neighbors any favors.

Phase 3 of the San Ysidro Port of Entry expansion project will create a new pedestrian walkway to the west and new southbound vehicle lanes.

The San Ysidro Smart Border Coalition also wants it to include a new development that could cost upwards of $50 million. That development would include multiple stores, restaurants and 900 parking spots.

"And it looks beautiful," said coalition cofounder Jason Wells.

There is not much of a draw to San Diego's southernmost community outside the Las Americas Premium Outlets. Right now, there is a UETA duty-free shop but the new construction will wipe that, 100 jobs and 1,256 parking spots away.

Wells said UETA wants to invest between $30 million and $50 million on a building that would replace 900 parking spots and add 300 jobs.

However, the U.S. General Services Administration's plans leave the property empty.

"As it sits today, it's leaving us some very serious holes," said Wells. "Their position has been, 'Here's our impacts. Sorry, we don't have to fix them.'"

The coalition will hand deliver more than 5,000 signatures to the GSA in the next two weeks. They support a petition asking the GSA include the new facility, which also includes a helipad and security towers for Customs and Border Protection use.

If you’d like to learn more about the San Ysidro Smart Border Coalition or sign the petition, click here.

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