In November, San Diego voters approved Measure G with 55 percent of the vote. The initiative called for the sale of 132 acres of City-owned property, including the Mission Valley stadium, for the development of an SDSU campus expansion, a world-class river park and housing.
Both parties have been preparing for next steps. These preparations include identifying the individuals who will represent each side at the negotiating table, drafting a formal agreement on cooperation and confidentiality, and the City issuing a request for proposals for real estate consulting services.
“Before us is a golden opportunity to turn the city’s most underutilized piece of real estate into something special that will benefit the entire San Diego region,” Faulconer said.
“A chance to expand educational opportunities in our region, teach the students who will fuel our economic growth, build housing for those in need, and create San Diego’s next great public space with a world-class river park. We will negotiate an agreement with SDSU that respects taxpayers, fulfills the will of the voters and allows for the university’s future growth,” Faulconer said.
“I am proud of the team we have assembled to represent the university in these important negotiations, which will result in a project that will have long-term benefits for our public university, our students and the San Diego region,” de la Torre said. “Each team member brings to the table knowledge and expertise that will be critical to the success of these discussions. I am confident they will ensure this process proceeds in a way that is fair and equitable to both the university and San Diego residents.”
The City and the Board of Trustees of the California State University, acting on behalf of SDSU, are entering into a memorandum of agreement regarding cooperation and confidentiality. This document will govern the negotiation process and outlines a number of conditions, including CEQA consultation, confidentiality of information, requests for public records, and other items important to reaching an agreement.
City leaders and SDSU have been meeting regularly to discuss items of importance that are critical to ongoing discussions. SDSU has also received a Right of Entry permit in order to continue progress on the draft Environmental Impact Report for the development. These due diligence efforts have set the stage for the next phase of negotiations to begin following City Council approval of the consultant contract in March.
The Real Estate Assets and Planning departments are leading negotiations for the City. Faulconer has selected the following staff to represent the City in negotiations:
• Cybele Thompson, team co-lead, real estate assets director;
• Mike Hansen, team co-lead, planning director;
• Kris Michell, chief operating officer;
• Ronald Villa, assistant chief operating officer;
• Erik Caldwell, deputy chief operating officer, Smart and Sustainable Communities;
• Alyssa Muto, planning deputy director;
• John Helminski, Public Utilities Department assistant director;
• Sean Torres, Transportation and Storm Water senior civil engineer;
• Andy Field, Parks and Recreation assistant director.
The negotiating team is being advised by City Attorney Mara W. Elliott, Assistant City Attorney Sanna Singer, Senior Chief Deputy City Attorney Kevin Reisch and Deputy City Attorney Melissa Ables.
On Wednesday, the City Council’s Budget Committee will be asked to approve a contract for real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc. (JLL) to assist the City in negotiations with the university. JLL was selected through a competitive bidding process after demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the project and experience with the City as well as expertise working on large and high-profile projects. JLL will be paid hourly in a total amount not to exceed $500,000.
The City will rely on JLL’s expertise to come to an agreement that makes the most sense for taxpayers. Once the contract is approved, JLL will be engaged in meetings between the City and SDSU moving forward.
President de la Torre has selected the following university representatives and consultants to represent SDSU:
• Jennifer Chavez, real estate attorney, Sheppard Mullin;
• Domenic Drago, real estate attorney, Sheppard Mullin;
• Gina Jacobs, assistant vice president, business and financial affairs, San Diego State University;
• Aarti Kewalramani, CEQA attorney with Gatzke, Dillon and Ballance;
• Tom McCarron, vice president of business and financial affairs and chief financial officer, San Diego State University;
• John Kratzer, chief executive officer, JMI Realty (Serving as a consultant to the university. JMI Realty is not participating in the development of the property.)
• Sally Roush, retired president and former vice president/chief financial officer, San Diego State University.