Settlement reached to secure land needed for Convention Center expansion

Settlement reached to secure land needed for Convention Center expansion

first_img Steve Bosh, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Updated: 6:09 PM Posted: June 11, 2018 June 11, 2018center_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Last week, the mayor’s office finally confirmed, after repeated denials, what KUSI had reported four weeks earlier, that a settlement had been reached to secure the land needed for Convention Center expansion.The city could have purchased the land for $12.5 million in 2010 but backed out the deal, and its lease was transferred to 5th Avenue Landing company who proceeded with plans to build an 840 room hotel on the 5 acres of land needed for expansion.This became a contentious issue when the city let it be known it wanted to re-acquire the land, forcing 5th Avenue Landing to sue the city for interfering with its contract to build a hotel on the site.But relying on a court is dangerous so 5th Avenue Landing negotiated a settlement for $5 million up front, and the remainder if the voters approve the ballot measure to increase the hotel tax for expansion.“We wanted to reach an accommodation with the city, we felt this was important for the community and we reached that accommodation with the help of judge papas,” said Art Engle, a partner in 5th Avenue Landing.He said this settlement is not a money grab but a win, win.“If it passes then the city gets the benefit of the Convention Center expansion, the community develops, goes along fine with the deal, and if it doesn’t pass we’ve got an opportunity backed by the city and the port to go ahead and build this project,” Engle said.Mayor Faulconer is encouraged by the settlement saying it sends a message to the voters“I”m so encouraged because we have a lot of momentum now, and when you’ve seen when entities come together, individuals and others, that says we want to do the right thing for the region,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer.The city and the Port District still have to approve the settlement, but in terms of revenue, the Port leans toward expansion.“The expansion will create by far more jobs and more economic impact,” said Rafael Castellanos, Chairman of the Port of San Diego.The mayor remains optimistic, and encouraged that the voters will approve the initiative.“As we move forward in the coming months San Diegans are going to come together, and support this because it’s so incredibly important for our economy, and the jobs and its not just for a few years this is going to be an economic engine for decades,” Mayor Faulconer said.The settlement was a hurdle but not the only one if the long-delayed expansion is to occur. The initiative could fail.“We have the 840 room hotel right now sitting in front of the port which would be, if not passed, it will be voted upon and we will go forward and build that project,” Engle said.There’s also a legal problem that introduces more complexity. Initiatives pass with a simply majority vote but increasing taxes on residents requires two-thirds.Proponents claim the hotel tax increase is paid by visitors, not residents.But San Diegan’s often stay in city hotels so residents would also pay the tax. Steve Bosh Settlement reached to secure land needed for Convention Center expansionlast_img

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