Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

SDSU will regularly inform students, faculty, staff, alumni and general community members of timely updates and other news related to SDSU Mission Valley. You can receive those updates by email by signing up here: Email List Form.
Yes. This plan provides a blueprint for the university’s long-term growth. The availability of appropriate space for quality education is crucial to SDSU’s future enrollment growth.
Plans for the Mission Valley site include:
  • 1.6 million square feet of academic and research/innovation space, affording technology transfer between companies and SDSU researchers;
  • 89 acres of open space with a river park, athletic and recreational fields, and more than 4 miles of hiking and biking trails;
  • Approximately 4,600 residential units, including student, faculty, and staff housing, as well as, affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing;
  • A 35,000-seat multi-use stadium for college football, professional soccer, other sports, concerts and events; expandable for NFL football;
  • 95,000 square feet of campus- and neighborhood-serving retail shops and business services;
  • Approximately 6,000 parking spaces for public and game-day use along with additional spaces as required for housing and retail, and spaces for the hotel/conference facilities that will accommodate campus visitors and serve as an incubator for students in SDSU’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
SDSU expects the first stage of construction will include the new stadium, the river park, and the initial phase of residential housing and campus/innovation space.
SDSU has committed to building 10 percent of the units on site as affordable housing, approximately 460 of the 4,600 units. Those units will be available to those who qualify for affordable housing, including students, faculty, staff and the general community. Additionally, SDSU will work with its private sector development partners to ensure additional units are attainably priced for students, faculty and staff, as well as the community.
Yes. SDSU will build a true multi-use stadium designed specifically for both soccer and football. We would welcome a professional soccer partner.

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.

Everyone. The design of this park allows for active and passive uses that make for a vibrant green space, not just for the campus community to enjoy, but for all San Diegans to use and take pride in.
SDSU is working with a consultant to estimate the tax revenue that the planned development will generate.
Based on a fall 2017 report, SDSU generates more than $5.67 billion in economic impact and approximately $457 million annually in tax revenue streams for state and local governments. With more opportunities for higher education, incubator space, commercial and retail, it is anticipated that number will increase to the benefit of the entire region. We know that for every 10,000 additional graduates, an estimated $200 million in annual economic output is generated for the regional economy.
No. This plan will not increase student tuition or fees. The California State University system-wide student costs are set by the Board of Trustees.


CEQA Planning Process

Yes. Transparency in this process is critical to SDSU. SDSU will initiate and complete a thorough and open CEQA review process that will allow for significant public review and input. The CEQA process will identify environmental and traffic impacts, as well as appropriate mitigation measures.

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. We have already assembled our team and began working on the Initial Study and Notice of Preparation (NOP) in late November of 2018.

In addition to discussions with the City of San Diego regarding the sale of the land, SDSU has also begun the CEQA process by distributing the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the EIR. The NOP will include three Scoping Meetings so that the public will have ample opportunity to tell the University what should be studied in the EIR for Mission Valley. For more information about dates and times of public meetings, please go to our community engagement page.

Yes, SDSU has more than 120 years of land-use planning and development experience. In the last six years, SDSU has completed more than $500 million in capital projects including classroom, residential and mixed-use buildings.



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:

  • Montage on College at SDSU
  • University of California, Davis West Village
  • Georgia Tech’s Tech Square
  • Arizona State University Research Park
  • Innovation Village at Cal Poly Pomona

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:

  • Short and Medium term debt instruments (Commercial Paper, Floating or Fixed Rate Notes, Put Bonds, Direct Bank Loans)
  • Long Term Revenue Bonds, if needed.
The multi-use stadium is estimated to cost $250 million which will be financed by revenue bonds. The repayment of the revenue bonds will be covered by revenue generated by the facility (e.g., ticket revenue, facilities rental revenue, naming rights, sponsorships, donations.)
Much of the vertical development will be financed with ground leases to third party development partners through public-private partnerships. Development partners will provide private financing to develop and construct residential units, the innovation campus, hotel and retail outlets. Public-private partnerships will allow the university to have access to new space without bearing the risk of financing, operations and maintenance of the buildings. The planned development schedule would begin in 2020 and is anticipated to take approximately 10-15 years for full build-out. Buildings would be occupied as they are constructed.

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.

SDSU has met with the Mayor to discuss next steps. We are both committed to an expeditious and fair process that benefits the City of San Diego, SDSU, and the region as a whole. SDSU looks forward to working with the Mayor and City Council to start negotiations in earnest in early 2019.

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