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Downtown Projects Get Extra Push

— Some local development projects that have lingered in the planning stages are getting a push. A San Diego councilman wants them started in case redevelopment agencies are dissolved.

North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Concept Drawing
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Above: North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Concept Drawing

The first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, the Horton Plaza Park, a downtown fire station and a permanent homeless shelter. All four of those projects are getting a new push from Councilman Kevin Faulconer. His district includes downtown. He said all of those projects have public support and should be started now in case the state legislature decides to eliminate redevelopment agencies as Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed. Faulconer said that would be the wrong move.

“If you take a look around the Gaslamp Quarter, the East Village, the Petco Park Area you can see what we’ve been able to accomplish,” he said. “And from my standpoint we should not turn off that economic engine.”

Faulconer said redevelopment generates additional tax dollars that benefit the entire city. But California is facing a $28 billion budget deficit. And Governor Brown wants to divert that tax money to the state.

“Because all’s that’s happened with redevelopment is that the state has to back-fill and make up for the property taxes that are take by redevelopment,” he said.

Brown said he wouldn’t disrupt any projects that have already begun. So cities around the state are now rushing projects in case redevelopment agencies are abolished.

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