It wasn’t too long ago that the city told the Chargers they could rent the Qualcomm Stadium site for just $1 a year, and now an investment firm has stepped in and floated a proposal for a $1 billion redevelopment of the Mission Valley property.
The proposal includes a new $200 million stadium to be used mostly by a Major League Soccer team and San Diego State University’s football team, plus a 55-acre San Diego River Park, new student housing and more.
The big question now is whether the City Council will approve the plan without putting it to a public vote. Whether or not they ultimately weigh in at the polls, San Diegans definitely have opinions about how this should all play out.
We sought out some of those opinions and asked local urban planners, architects and community members what they want to see happen to the Qualcomm Stadium site. Add your thoughts by leaving a comment or emailing me. The responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity.
First, reimburse the city of San Diego’s Water Utilities Department since they own half the property, and use the funds as a down payment on the city’s Pure Water recycled wastewater program. Second, create San Diego’s first true River Park and make it spectacular. Third, on the remainder of the site be bold and construct a high-density urban development that is completely car-free.
— Joe LaCava, land-use consultant, member of the Housing You Matters Coalition and past chair of the Community Planners Committee
We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?
Mostly uninspiring ides. Think big and think future, people! This is prime real estate, in the center of the county, with a trolley system and two nearby freeways providing easy access.
The best of these ideas is a joint use with SDSU and the high tech, biotech industries to create a synergistic community where people work, live, create and innovate. To suggest yet another recreation area with hotels and restaurants is to continue our link to low paying minimum wage jobs that do not provide a future. To suggest that we keep the stadium for soccer, the Aztecs and perhaps some other NFL team (have we not learned anything from the greedy, self-centered Chargers) is short sighted. While homelessness is a real concern and needs to be addressed countywide, we can perhaps find other locations for housing and associated services.
We have an enormous homeless problem throughout San Diego. Building facilities to provide housing, health care, drug rehab, and job training for the homeless would be a far better use of this public land.
A lot of uninspiring ideas here, all of them, not surprisingly, linked to profiting from the land.
But wait, isn’t the only reason this land is even up for discussion because voters just overwhelmingly rejected the idea of private business and individuals profiting from it?
I think so. So unless those who ran the for and against Measure C campaigns share what they know about voter motives -- I’m talking to you Manolatos, Quigley, Boling and Maas -- it seems to me the ideas presented here are moot. So let’s start elsewhere.
Mission Valley is an abomination. It’s everything that shouldn’t be, but is: a cacophonous hodge-podge of strip malls, bigger malls, box stores, condos, chain restaurants, low rise offices, freeways, too-wide-to-comfortably-walk-across surface streets, traffic signals, traffic, hotels, motels, trolleys that stop too far from where you go and parking lots. In short, the area is an awful, emotionally empty, and probably temporary place to live for most of its inhabitants.
It shares this distinction with other “planned” parts of San Diego like the area surrounding Sports Arena and Convoy in Kearny Mesa. All three are developer and government greed on steroids. All three speak to the emptiness of living through your car in areas walled, fenced off, ugly, without neighbors and unavailable beyond commerce.
So why not turn the site of the “Q” into a park, even better back to pasture land. We can call it the Moo. At least this will give those who live in Mission Valley some pleasure; a place to hang out and play catch, or catch the sun.
There’s a precedent for leaving public land fallow, it’s called Fiesta Island.
There have already been many interesting ideas set forth for the site. While they should be respectfully considered, City officials should not forget the need to include a requirement for a specified number of affordable housing units. Let's not get another Liberty Station - i.e. an auto oriented, upper income, suburban development in the city.
@bgetzel don't forget that Liberty Station is a noise ghetto, too!
Architect Quigley's idea for a "trailer park" in the upper bleachers of Qualcomm is intriguing -- make this very low income housing for homeless San Diegans! And build community there. This City-owned site NEEDS to provide the solution to our City's affordable housing disaster of the past 10 years. While the permanent housing is being developed, use the huge parking lot to provide SafePark and SafeCamp for homeless people with portapotties, mobile showers, camp kitchens, Food Stamps, transit passes and social workers -- like Seattle has since 2015: https://www.change.org/p/san-diego-mayor-kevin-faulconer-safepark-camp-for-victims-of-san-diego-housing-disaster-in-qualcomm-stadium-parking-lot?recruiter=821614&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg
Sell the land to the highest bidder. I'm sick of different groups asking for handouts and backroom deals. SDSU only has 2 more years on their stadium lease. They can either beat all other offers or they can play football at southwestern college.
The city should SELL that land?! Are you nuts? And why the post-Xmas lump of coal for SDSU?
Several of your experts recommend NOT scraping the existing stadium. Seems to me a fair amount of investment could be justified in preparing a detailed refurbishment plan for the existing stadium, assuming there’s some way of reducing what appear to this reader to be outlandish maintenance costs.
There are plenty of successful remodels including Arrowhead Stadium, Lambeau Field, Soldier Field, not to mention the planned redo in Miami (entirely paid by the private sector, I’m told). These places may not have the latest luxury seating or exploding scoreboards, but they don’t seem to have much problem selling seats. Sopranos is gone and his opinion no longer counts. The NFL owners seem to want a team in San Diego and could be of some help in the not-too-distant future.
Rob Quigley could partner with the original designer, who swears the structure is totally serviceable.