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State Law Puts Sport Arena Development On Hold

Outside the Pechanga Arena San Diego box office, Dec. 5, 2018.
Matt Hoffman
Outside the Pechanga Arena San Diego box office, Dec. 5, 2018.
This week, the city of San Diego got some bad news about plans to renovate the Midway district after an overlooked state law called the project into question.

The area around the Pechanga Arena, commonly known as the Sports Arena, is slated to become a new entertainment district, with a new arena, parks, retail and housing.

Voters even approved a ballot measure raising the building height limit in the Midway District to allow for the development, but the guidelines implementing a new state law seem to put the city's plans in limbo.


The new state law requires public agencies and affordable housing developers to have first dibs on property being sold by public agencies. Officials with the city of San Diego believe that this doesn't apply because the property is being leased, but the state agency implementing the new law has issued guidelines saying that it applies to leases also.

So, instead of being able to lease the Midway-area land to the city's chosen developer, the city may have to first offer it to affordable housing developers.

Andrew Keatts, Voice of San Diego's senior investigative reporter, joined Midday Edition on Friday to discuss the potential roadblock.