Is Councilmember Sherman’s stadium plan a good one?

Add yet another idea to the “get a stadium built” pile, this time from San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman.

Sherman, whose district includes Qualcomm Stadium, held a press conference Wednesday to present his plans for a new multi-use stadium and revitalization project in Mission Valley, complete with a 20-acre park, hotels, housing, restaurants and retail shops.

“If this is done right, this would be a spot to go to whether there’s a game or not, with all the nightlife and other amenities that would be happening,” Sherman said.

The plan was developed by taking “bits and pieces” from proposals that have come forward over the last 14 years. Sherman was also assisted by development analyst Gary London, who volunteered his time for the project.

London said the project would be unlike anything already existing in San Diego, adding that it would be similar to Century City in Hollywood.

The entire 166-acre complex would be a “phased development” project and would take about ten years to complete, London said. It would be profitable, he noted, because of the money generated from redeveloping the land with retail and residential buildings. Those profits could potentially negate any tax increase needed to get a stadium built.

“The development on this site could be accomplished with or without a stadium,” London said. “At its highest achievable density, it could accommodate approximately three-million square feet of office space, approximately 6,000 residential units and a hotel of at least 300 rooms.”

London acknowledged that the project wouldn’t be without its share of controversy — adding that real estate development almost never is — after a reporter pointed out how the “One Paseo” project in Carmel Valley (a 1.4 million-square-foot mixed-use complex) has faced severe public criticism due to the congestion the project would bring.

Financing suggestions were also put forward Wednesday, and would vary depending on contributions from the Chargers and private investors, among other entities.

“For construction of the stadium, there should be no cost to the general fund,” Sherman said, noting that the public would still vote on whether the project should be developed.

Sherman’s proposed financing suggestions.

Sherman’s recommendations include a commitment from the Chargers.

“We think there should be an inclusion of an iron-clad lease from the Chargers to remain in San Diego for the duration of the bonds and the financing mechanisms,” he said, adding that the Chargers should also pay “market-rate rent” to use the stadium.

Sherman will give the plan to the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group.

“They can use some of it, all of it, or none of it, but this is showing what it possible,” he said. “This is not meant to be a final plan by any means. This is really meant to add to the discussion and help CSAG with the important decision they will be making soon.”

Shortly after the press conference ended, CSAG’s spokesman Tony Manolatos tweeted that the task force wouldn’t go forward with a project that includes as much density as Sherman’s proposal.

Last week, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that the county and city would join forces to find a stadium solution. A proposal is expected to be presented to the Chargers by May 20.

–Annie Heilbrunn



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