SDSU Mission Valley will provide SDSU with the opportunity to build a world class university research and innovation district just three trolley stops from the main campus. We know that every dollar invested in Mission Valley will benefit our university, our students and the City through the economic return of higher education. The dividends will come in the form of a better trained workforce and greater economic development.
The project will also enable the university and its partners to help people expand their livelihoods, create new career pathways, and expand our region’s capabilities when it comes to finding solutions through research and development across the many growth sectors in San Diego. As a national hub for biotech, life sciences, technology, defense, and hospitality and tourism, it is imperative that we not only provide educational opportunities for local students to enter those fields but also work with industry to innovate and expand the amazing work already happening here in San Diego.
SDSU will also build a river park for all San Diegans to enjoy, along with much needed housing, and a new multi-use stadium.
CEQA Planning Process
Yes. Over the past year, SDSU has given more than 100 presentations on and off campus for input into the plan. Robust community engagement will continue throughout the entitlement process. For more information about how to share your input with SDSU, please check our community engagement page. You can also sign up for regular email updates here.
Additionally, SDSU will continue to have meaningful dialogue with city planning groups, the San Diego River Park Foundation, the San Diego River Conservancy, the City of San Diego, and other interested stakeholders.
Given the robust planning, prior technical studies, and community engagement that has already happened, SDSU envisions a year-long CEQA process that continues to seek community input, draft all relevant technical studies, and prepare a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Mission Valley site. Our goal is to have the final EIR approved by the CSU Board of Trustees in early 2020. More information is available here
The NOP comment period occurred from January 18, 2019 - February 19, 2019. Three public scoping meetings were held during the 30-day notice period on January 29, January 30 and February 7, 2019. Nearly 150 community members attended and we received more than 90 comment letters on the NOP.
Over the next few months, our technical team will be analyzing the project and preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which we hope to release this summer.
The Mission Valley site plan is a self-supporting project that will be paid for by revenue generated by uses on the site. SDSU Mission Valley will not rely on taxpayer dollars, student tuition or student fees. SDSU will also utilize public-private partnerships to leverage private sector financing as well as additional skill sets from a variety of commercial, industrial, and residential developers.
Additionally, SDSU will utilize revenue bonds through the California State University system for the initial investment to prepare the land for development and construct the river park. This is not the same as taxpayer dollars. These bonds can only be used for revenue generating projects like this and will be paid back by revenue generated by the site itself.
Public-private partnerships (P3s) will be a significant source of funding for Mission Valley, and will be utilized for the housing, retail and campus innovation district buildings. These partnerships are used across the country and allow universities to mitigate the financial risk inherent in the construction and operation of a building by letting that risk lie with the private sector who in return shares in the value of the buildings that get built. P3s will also generate property tax revenue because they will be shared spaces with industry.
The CSU has completed many P3s, and successful examples within and outside of the CSU include:
Initial site development costs include the land purchase, site infrastructure, river park, and off-site mitigation (as part of the CEQA process).
Initial costs are estimated at $300 million, to be financed through short-term financing and revenue bonds issued by the California State University (CSU) system; the site will ultimately be developed through public-private partnerships (P3s). These are not the same as taxpayer dollars; bonds will be repaid with revenue generated by leases with SDSU's public-private partners.
The CSU is “double A” rated with excellent, established access to the capital markets and $6.3 billion in outstanding revenue bonds. The CSU regularly issues bonds to construct revenue generating projects that do not require student tuition or taxpayer dollars—self-supporting projects similar to the types of projects envisioned for SDSU Mission Valley. The estimated site preparation costs and river park development costs are modest compared to the CSU’s overall capital program capabilities and experience.
The CSU has access to significantly lower cost of capital including:
Contingencies are built in to every project financed through CSU revenue bonds (including ensuring a cushion in revenues well above the debt service/repayment and anticipation of interest rate increases before final financing of the project). Other campus and CSU revenues, not generated from tax dollars (state appropriations) and not tuition or student fee resources, can be used to make financing payments.
Student tuition and fees are not part of the contingency plan.
The CSU has never defaulted on a debt payment.
Yes. Because many of the new buildings in Mission Valley will be shared with private entities, they will generate property taxes based on possessory interests. Due to the anticipated length of the lease agreements, the tax revenue will be similar to standard property taxes.
Additionally, retail establishments and the hotels on the site will generate sales tax and transient occupancy tax (TOT) revenue for the City of San Diego.
Our Partners and Consultants
For more than a decade, San Diego State University has advocated for the Mission Valley site to serve the region’s higher education needs and a public purpose as a campus expansion. A project of this size, scope and lifespan requires an extensive long-term strategy that involves planning, problem-solving and broad community input. In 2017, at the request of the community members on and off campus, then-SDSU President Sally Roush requested that the university develop an in-depth site plan. The site plan held many functions, namely to: ensure the San Diego region had a tangible understanding of what SDSU desired to develop on the site; add to the public dialogue and provide mechanisms for community input; and provide transparency to the public about the impacts of a potential SDSU-led development at the Mission Valley stadium site.
SDSU engaged experts to assist in the development of a plan that met the needs of both the SDSU community and the greater San Diego region. These partners/consultants provided and continue to provide research- and experience-driven consultation, as well as specialized expertise SDSU does not currently have on staff, particularly in the areas of master planning and conceptual design work.
JMI Realty is a local real estate company specializing in urban redevelopment. JMI Realty was hired in 2017 to provide consulting services to GDB on the planning for the SDSU Mission Valley campus. In the purchase and sale phase of the project, JMI Realty is also serving as a consultant in negotiations with the City of San Diego. JMI Realty’s scope of work is focused primarily on the strategy and management of the master planning process, including financial analysis, market research, and reviews of technical studies and due diligence research related to the property.
While JMI Realty is being paid for its services to SDSU, the company will not serve as the “developer” of any portion of the Mission Valley site. SDSU will work through its existing procurement process to select development partners for the residential, hotels and innovation district buildings.
Populous is a global architecture firm specializing in large, community gathering spaces, like major sports stadiums. The team has developed thousands of venues, including several of the most recent major event venues, stadiums, arenas and ballparks, including more than 1,000 collegiate projects. Populous’ scope of work included the development of a feasibility design study to explore the feasibility of a new multi-use stadium and a football-only on-campus stadium. Populous was selected through a competitive procurement process.
Additionally, renderings created by Populous are publicly available in the “Visuals” section of the sdsu.edu/missionvalley website.
Sheppard Mullin is an international law firm with offices in San Diego. The University has hired Sheppard Mullin, including lawyers with real estate and other expertise, to provide legal advice to San Diego State University and the California State University system in negotiations with the City of San Diego on the purchase and development of the stadium site. The CSU Office of General Counsel selected Sheppard Mullin in a competitive process.