Group heading Major League Soccer bid unveils plans for Qualcomm Stadium land in Mission Valley

MLS group to unveil Mission Valley stadium plans
Posted at 8:23 AM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-23 11:50:54-05

Updated information, 2/23/2017 6:51 AM:

The group behind the so-called Soccer City redevelopment plan for the Qualcomm Stadium property is gearing up to start collecting signatures.

La Jolla-based F-S Investors has already published the proposal in a massive legal notice in the San Diego Union-Tribune. That's required before they can circulate a petition in support of the proposal.

The plan calls for commercial and residential development coupled with a stadium that could be used for both a professional soccer expansion franchise and S-D-S-U football.

If the petition gets enough signatures ... the city council will either adopt the plan or put it before voters.

Original Story

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A new plan for the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley was unveiled today by a La Jolla investment group that's trying to lure a Major League Soccer team to San Diego.

The plan would be 100 percent privately funded without the use of taxpayer money and be acquired from the city at fair market value, according to the investors.

The plan calls for the site to be transformed into a new destination for San Diegans, providing a place to live, work, dine, shop, and attend sporting events in a new stadium, including professional soccer, college football, and concerts.

The group is led by local businessman Michael Stone, and includes former Qualcomm President Steve Altman, technology entrepreneurs Massih and Masood Tayebi, Padres owner and local investor Peter Seidler, and Univision Sports President Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

The plan's features include 55 acres of parkland, including an expanded San Diego River Park and six community recreation fields; a state-of-the-art stadium for professional soccer and collegiate football that could serve San Diego State, and also be the new home of high school football and soccer championship games; a sports and entertainment district with restaurants, shops, bars and live music; and a transit-oriented, mixed-use development that would include 3,520 market-rate residential units, 800 student-focused residential units and 480 affordable housing units.

The commercial area of the development would include 2.4 million square feet of office space, 740,000 square feet of commercial space, and two hotels with the potential for up to 450 rooms.

"There is a large population of San Diego that loves soccer," Altman said. "With the sport's growing popularity here, especially among young people, we believe the people of San Diego will embrace a Major League Soccer team."

The group believes the proposed mixed-use development, combining transit- oriented housing near the city's largest Trolley station, with a sports and entertainment district, commercial and office space, will be appealing, especially to Millennials.

"This concept offers exciting opportunities for major league soccer, more parkland and Aztecs football without public subsidy. Now it's time to examine the plan in detail to make sure it makes sense for taxpayers," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. "I look forward to reviewing the proposal presented to the public today, as well as the public discussion to come."

The group is proposing to secure the entire 166-acre site from the city at fair market value determined by independent appraisal. They have offered to jointly construct a combined soccer and football stadium with San Diego State University and gift their half of the stadium to the university -- making it the largest single gift ever received by SDSU.

SDSU issued a statement in response to inquiries on the FS Investors' stadium plan:

"We have reviewed the renderings and descriptions presented by FS Investors and we wish to clarify two critical issues: First, given the proposed density of development in the stadium area, there is no prospect for future expansion to 40,000 seats. Second, while the proposed gift of stadium ownership may convey tax advantages to FS Investors, it conveys no revenue or rights of ownership normally associated with a gift," the statement said. "We look forward to working with the mayor, the city council and the San Diego community to construct a mixed-use stadium that will serve the needs of SDSU's top 25 football program."

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