Next phase includes 80 acres of park and recreation areas as well as start of residential/retail/innovation development
San Diego Union Tribune: The next phase of SDSU Mission Valley includes park and recreation areas along south and east edges targeted in open in 2023.
San Diego Union Tribune Kirk Kenney August 26, 2022 Snapdragon Stadium is only days away from throwing open its doors, completing a five year journey that included three years of land acquisition and two years of construction. And now the rest of the story. While San Diego State’s new $310 million stadium has been the focal point of the SDSU Mission Valley site, the stadium footprint actually is only about 10 percent of the entire 166-acre property. 2 “We really see SDSU Mission Valley as this opportunity to welcome the greater San Diego community into the SDSU family,” said Gina Jacobs, SDSU’s associate vice president for Mission Valley development. “Obviously, Snapdragon Stadium is going to be a great opportunity for that, but the river park will as well.” The River Park area is planned for 80 acres of parks and open space. Then there are plans for 4,600 residential units (10 percent of them designated affordable housing), as well as 95,000 square feet of retail space, another 1.6 million square feet of research and innovation space and a 400-room hotel. Buildout for the site is projected to extend to 2037, although significant development will be evident almost immediately. Here’s a glance at other aspects of the estimated $3.5 billion project: The River Park The River Park along the southern and eastern edges of the property is the next phase of development, and will be open to all San Diegans, not just those connected with the university. Most of the park and recreation areas are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. That is welcome news for those Aztecs football fans looking for potential tailgate areas. Large grass multiuse fields located south of the trolley line will be available for football, soccer, rugby and lacrosse, among other things. Immediately below the trolley bridge will be the “Activity Zone,” with basketball courts, a fitness area and children’s playground area. Nearby there will be a stage and seating area for music and other artistic performances. In the southwest corner, there will be an “outdoor classroom” area for learning. “Throughout the park we’ll have a lot of interpretive education opportunities and signage,” Jacobs said, “to teach folks about the river, the biology of the river and the history of the site, including the Kumeyaay origins.” There will be another large green belt in the southeast corner of the property and other green areas along the eastern edge that will be enhanced as residential phases extend there. The entire property will be surrounded by the Hike and Bike Trail, four miles of bike and pedestrian paths. Residential/Retail Development Demolition of San Diego Stadium was done one year ahead of schedule, which enabled grading and other site preparation to begin earlier on the eastern part of the property. Market-rate, multi-family housing will include rental units ranging from studios to three bedrooms. Renderings include 18 buildings of approximately six stories each. “The first residential/retail project is expected to be approximately 450 units,” Jacobs said. “We’re in the process of selecting a developer for that project. That selection should be done this year, meaning it will go to the Board of Trustees sometime next year and start construction sometime next year.” The first two parcels (R10 and R9 in the rendering above) will be developed together and move-in for the first residents could be as soon as 2025. Jacobs said the first affordable housing units will be one block east (R8 on the rendering) and will include 200 units split evenly in two phases. “We’re in the process of selecting an affordable housing developer for that,” she said. “By doing this first 100 units, we’re already ahead of the curve as it relates to keeping up with the 10 percent phase.” The first residential phase also will include 30,000 square feet of retail space, Jacobs said. “That includes the grocery store and other various food and beverage offerings,” she said. Retail space is to be focused on the main street — Innovation Parkway — which is central to the property, though there also will be some in other areas nearby. Innovation District The area immediately southeast of Snapdragon (buildings D1, D2, D3 and D4) will comprise the first area of development. “It’s going to be at least 300,000 square feet of space, but we’re still in the process of determining if it’s going to be bigger or not,” Jacobs said. “We’re in the process of selecting developers for that.” Initial vertical development could potentially begin by 2025. Two Innovation District buildings located directly east of Snapdragon (F1 and E1) could also begin that soon. The Hotel A hotel located north of the stadium (along Friars Road) is planned, with as many as 22 stories, 400 rooms and 70 condos allowable under the EIR. “We want it to be an asset and amenity to the stadium and Innovation District,” Jacobs said. “The stadium for obvious reasons, folks that are coming for the game, alumni that are coming for homecoming, for events, concerts. “And the Innovation District to host folks who might be coming to do business with one of our partners within the Innovation District or conference activities.” Jacobs said the hotel is still in the preplanning phase and there is no target date for construction. “I don’t want to put a timeframe on it because it kind of depends on where the market goes,” Jacobs said. “We’ll pull the trigger on it when it makes sense in the market to do that.” Notable
In the short term, each of the development areas is being used as parking for Snapdragon Stadium. That will disappear as development begins and progresses.
“The current lots will go away,” Jacobs said, “and need will trigger building Innovation District parking. “It’s always been planned that the Innovation District and stadium would share about 5,000 parking spaces.”
The trolley plaza currently under construction is scheduled to be completed in time for the Sept. 3 opener against Arizona.
There also are expected to be four entrances/exits ready in time for fans to utilize.
The west entrance from Friars Road and main entrance on Mission Village Drive are ready. Work continued through August to complete access points from the east at San Diego Mission Road and southeast at Rancho Mission Road.
A fifth access point, at the southwest corner of the property, will connect to Fenton Parkway. It is expected to be available when the parks are completed in 2023.
There is not yet a timeline for the proposed Fenton Parkway Bridge that will connect to Camino del Rio North.
Flooding, at least in the developed areas, should be a thing of the past. The site level was raised eight feet throughout the development areas.
South of the trolley station will be a large water filtration basin.
We’ll be capturing and treating 100 percent of the storm water from the site onsite before it goes in the storm water system, enhancing the water quality,” Jacobs said.
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