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.
The annual economic impact of SDSU Mission Valley is estimated at approximately $3 billion, including $21 million in annual tax revenue for the City of San Diego.
Based on a fall 2017 report, SDSU today generates more than $5.67 billion in economic impact and approximately $457 million annually in tax revenue streams for state and local governments. We also know that for every 10,000 additional graduates, an estimated $200 million in annual economic output is generated for the regional economy.
CEQA Planning Process
Yes. Since the SDSU Mission Valley plan was released in 2017, SDSU has given more than 150 presentations on and off campus for input into the plan. Robust community engagement has continued 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 continues 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.
Following robust planning, prior technical studies, and community engagement that has already happened, SDSU undertook a year-long CEQA process that sought community input, released all relevant technical studies, and prepared a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Mission Valley site. The final EIR was certified by the CSU Board of Trustees in January 2020. More information is available at the Community Engagement page
The CSU Board of Trustees certified the Final Environmental Impact Report in January 2020.
Traffic Mitigation Measures
If SDSU is provided with the opportunity to purchase the Mission Valley site, SDSU will implement a number of major traffic improvements and will fund its fair share of traffic improvements in the project/vicinity. The EIR’s proposed traffic improvements are substantial, at an estimated cost of more than $21.5 million, and would be implemented at the points when campus land uses cause significant impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act. Significant impacts occur when development causes projected additional daily trips that increase traffic levels above acceptable thresholds.
Additionally, over and above the project’s mitigation requirements, and as identified in the Final EIR, the project will provide an additional $5 million towards community benefit traffic/transportation improvements.
For further details on the proposed traffic improvements, refer to the SDSU Mission Valley Final EIR Transportation section.
During the public comment period, SDSU expects to receive, consider and respond to public input on the traffic analysis.
A traffic improvement/mitigation measure is considered technically “infeasible” if SDSU lacks the access and ability to implement the improvement.
With City coordination and access to the right of way, which was agreed to in the Final EIR, the mitigation related to City improvements is now feasible.
Upon occurrence of a significant impact as identified in the Final EIR’s Mitigation Monitoring Plan and triggered by actual development and with the City’s coordination on the specific off-site traffic improvement, the improvements will be completed.
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 systemwide 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. The CSU Board of Trustees approved financing for the initial site development and River Park at its January 2020 meeting.
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, stadium demolition, site infrastructure, river park, and off-site mitigation (as part of the CEQA process).
Initial costs are estimated at $350 million, much of will be financed through systemwide revenue bonds issued by the California State University (CSU) with long-term repayment coming primarily from public-private partnership ground lease revenues. Both the CSU and SDSU are also making initial capital investments in the project. The CSU system is investing $60 million and SDSU is investing $40 million utilizing auxiliary resources. SDSU’s investment will be paid back over time when ground lease revenue exceeds the debt payment.
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.
SDSU selected Clark Construction Group through a competitive bidding process to serve as the design-build contractor for the new multi-use stadium that is part of the SDSU Mission Valley development. Clark Construction’s locally based team boasts significant sports facility expertise and strong relationships with San Diego-based subcontractors. They have been responsible for the design and construction of several successful sports facilities including Petco Park, in addition to a number of local projects such as the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton and SDSU’s Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences building, which opened in 2018.
Following a separate public bidding process, Clark Construction was also selected as the contractor for the SDSU Mission Valley site development project. Along with their civil engineering design partner, Project Design Consultants (PDC), Clark Construction will be responsible for the site engineering and grading, construction of the site infrastructure, interior road network and utilities.
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.
In partnership with JMI Sports, Legends will manage the stadium project as part of the proposed campus expansion at SDSU Mission Valley. JMI Sports and Legends will plan, strategize and execute ticketing, premium sales, naming rights and founding partnerships for the proposed stadium.
Since 2017, JMI Sports and Legends have strategically partnered on projects to deliver optimal value for properties in the collegiate space, including the creation of a successful joint venture to manage Notre Dame's athletics sponsorship, hospitality, multimedia rights and branding services on a local and national level. Legends has a wealth of experience in Southern California, having partnered to provide planning, project management, naming rights and founding partnerships and premium and general ticketing solutions on both the Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District and Banc of California Stadium projects, along with providing premium sales and marketing solutions on the renovation of the Rose Bowl and L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
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.
In partnership with Clark Construction, Project Design Consultants (PDC) has been selected to provide civil engineering services and survey services for both the new multi-purpose Aztec Stadium and the proposed SDSU Mission Valley campus site. PDC was founded in 1976 with an office in downtown San Diego. PDC provides professional civil engineering, surveying, land planning, landscape architecture, water resources, and policy planning services to a wide range of public and private sector clients throughout San Diego County. Their long-term San Diego location has allowed them to hire many SDSU graduates over their decades of being in business; currently around fifteen SDSU graduates are part of their team. PDC is excited to be part of this catalytic project for both SDSU and the San Diego region.
Schmidt Design Group has been selected as the landscape architect for San Diego State University’s proposed Mission Valley project. In collaboration with the design-build team of Clark Construction and Project Design Consultants, the San Diego-based Schmidt Design Group will lead the design of approximately 80-acres of open space, more than four miles of hike and bike trails, and a significant regional river park adjacent to the San Diego River. The firm has a 36-year legacy of award-winning work that reflects a continual commitment to artistry and sustainability. Recent work includes the Waterfront Park, Civita Park, Pacific Highland Ranch Community Park, Ocean Air Community Park, Silver Strand “Natures Bridge to Discovery”, Arts District at Liberty Station, and Stone Brewing and World Bistro in Escondido and Liberty Station.
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.