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Quality of Life

Faulconer Says Padres Are Winner of Tailgate Park Development

A sign for Tailgate Park parking in Downtown San Diego. Sept. 23, 2020.
Nicholas McVicker
A sign for Tailgate Park parking in Downtown San Diego. Sept. 23, 2020.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Wednesday that the Padres Development Team has won the competitive bidding process to transform a four-block parking lot sometimes known as Tailgate Park into a mixed-use destination called East Village Quarter.

Faulconer was joined by Padres President of Baseball Operations Erik Greupner and the team's partners for the development, including representatives of Tishman Speyer and Ascendant Capital Partners, for the announcement across from Petco Park on Wednesday morning.

Faulconer Says Padres Are Winner of Tailgate Park Development
Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

The decision comes after city staff and external experts reviewed and scored the two top bids to redevelop the four blocks between K Street and Imperial Avenue and 12th Avenue and 14th Street in the East Village neighborhood.

"What the Padres have done over the years to create an atmosphere of fun, excitement and energy at Petco Park is incredible, and now, with Tishman Speyer and Ascendant Capital Partners, they'll be able to expand their footprint and the positive impact they have on the surrounding community even further," Faulconer said. "Block by block we're breathing new life into the East Village and making it a vibrant district for San Diegans and visitors alike to enjoy."

The Padres Development Team comprises local and international leaders who specialize in sports, transit-centered and mixed-use development, urban design and finance. The team's initial vision for the site includes housing, public space, retail and office space intended to attract companies to downtown San Diego.

Additionally, the team's vision includes the creation of a 1,600-space parking structure — 600 more spaces than currently exist on the site.

A rendering of what the Tailgate Park development may look like when completed. Sept. 23, 2020.
City of San Diego
A rendering of what the Tailgate Park development may look like when completed. Sept. 23, 2020.

"The Padres have helped revitalize East Village through the construction and continuous improvement of Petco Park," Greupner said. "We are excited to partner with our development team to further revitalize East Village through our vision for this site, which will enhance the game day experience for our fans and transform the Ballpark District."

From Aug. 26 to Sept. 4, the city held a virtual open house to solicit public input on two development proposals and community priorities for the development. The open house website received more than 12,000 views and 1,156 community feedback responses. Top priorities for the community included open space and amenities, retail, parking, events and active pedestrian and public space.

Faulconer also directed the release of documents related to the selection process to provide transparency as the city moves forward, including the proposal summary scoring matrix and a summary of community feedback.

Simon Andrews is the Vice President of the East Village Association. He said that the new development is expected to bolster the economy there. But he is also concerned about the many homeless people who use resources in the surrounding area.

“I'm hoping that some of the initiatives that are happening now, currently, within the county and the city to house homeless will really address a lot of that," Andrews said.

The next step is to take the Selection Committee’s recommendation to the City Council. If approved, a final agreement with the Padres development team is expected to happen by the middle of 2021.

"The Padres are strong community champions who have proven their commitment to San Diego by significantly investing in the ballpark, community programs and surrounding neighborhoods," Councilman Chris Ward said. "Now backed by a powerhouse development team, the Padres will continue their partnership with the city and transform East Village Quarter into a mixed-use development that prioritizes jobs and housing and will enhance downtown."