San Diego Lays Out Vision For Partnership With Jacobs Center
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation with the goal of enhancing the quality of life in southeastern San Diego.
The two-page document does not commit any special funding for the Jacobs Center, and memorandums of understanding are not legally binding. However, the document does call on the city to "explore the potential for reimbursement of development fees," which would lower the cost of new construction projects undertaken by the Jacobs Center. It also calls on both parties to "explore the creation of a business incentive fund and other economic development strategies" to create living-wage jobs in the area.
Faulconer said at a news conference that he remained committed to his promise of creating a more equitable city.
"For too long, the residents of southeastern San Diego had felt that their city wasn't paying attention to the neighborhood needs," he said. "Today's agreement means that revitalizing southeastern San Diego is one of our city's top priorities."
Parts of southeastern San Diego were recently designated a "promise zone" by the White House, giving the region an edge when applying for federal grants. Reginald Jones, the Jacobs Center's president and CEO, said the city's partnership with the center would build on a relationship that is already producing results.
"We're doing nearly $5.5 million of enhanced infrastructure within the redevelopment zone," Jones said. "That certainly stimulates development investor activity in the neighborhood, making it easier for them to carry out their projects at efficient costs."
The Jacobs Center owns 60 acres of land in the Encanto neighborhood, most of which is not yet developed. This summer the center released its master plan for all of its property, featuring apartments, retail, community centers and open space.
At the start of the year, the Jacobs Center registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, largely in preparation for the winding down of support from the center's biggest funding source, the Jacobs Family Foundation.