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Mayor Names New President To Head Civic San Diego

Reese Jarrett talks with Myrtle Cole on a vacant lot at Euclid and Hilltop Drive. July 25, 2014

The former head of the defunct Southeastern Development Corp. was appointed Friday by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to be the new president of Civic San Diego, which handles major development projects for the city.

Reese Jarrett was with the real estate firm E. Smith and Co., was a partner in Carter Reese & Associates and served as the SEDC president in the 1980s.

The SEDC, a city organization that worked on projects in southeastern San Diego, went out of business when the state phased out redevelopment agencies. Its functions were turned over to Civic San Diego, a city-owned nonprofit created to work on projects in the post-redevelopment era.

"He has worked for more than three decades on transforming urban neighborhoods into places with opportunities and jobs," Faulconer said at a news conference. "Reese is an economic development expert and has the ability to put together complicated financing plans to help our neighborhoods thrive."

Faulconer said Jarrett "knows how to work collaboratively with neighborhood leaders and stakeholders" to replicate the success of downtown development in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Jarrett said he wants to continue Civic San Diego’s work in downtown, but he also wants to expand the agency's efforts into other neighborhoods to create jobs and retail space.

Faulconer chose a vacant lot at Hilltop Drive and Euclid Avenue on the edge of the Chollas View neighborhood to make the announcement.

“This site that we’re on is approximately 10 acres and is just ripe for development,” Jarrett said. “We’re very excited about getting that economic engine rolling in these neighborhoods who want to see development occur.”

Jarrett replaces Jeff Graham, who resigned in March to take a job in the private sector. A spokesman for Civic San Diego said Jarrett's compensation package has not yet been determined. Graham's annual salary range was $175,000 to $225,000.

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