In a boon for San Diego State University’s plans for a Mission Valley satellite campus and revamped football stadium, the California State University Board of Trustees certified the project’s final environmental impact report Wednesday and approved financing for acquiring the property.
The university has offered the city $86.2 million to purchase a 135-acre parcel of land — including SDCCU Stadium — to develop into a secondary campus with a refurbished football stadium, housing for thousands of students and faculty and a park adjacent the San Diego River. San Diego State hopes to break ground on the project this year, and complete the $3 billion project by 2037.
By certifying the final environmental impact report, the Board of Trustees gave the green light to move forward with the development once the property is purchased. The environmental report comes after a year of planning, research, dozens of public meetings and presentations for feedback. It identifies impacts the project would have on the environment and outlines appropriate mitigation.
“This is a significant milestone for our future development of SDSU Mission Valley which represents an unprecedented opportunity to expand and transform San Diego State University,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “This day is the culmination of extensive work by SDSU and CSU staff, the city of San Diego and the many supporters of SDSU Mission Valley who recognized this as an invaluable opportunity for SDSU to expand and better serve its academic mission and the community.”
Earlier this week, the San Diego City Council set some parameters for the proposed land sale — chief among them affordable housing requirements and the amount of open space. The council will likely vote to sell the property next month, and ultimately escrow should close on the property in March or April, according to city staff. That timeline is subject to a number of variables, including reaching a sale agreement that both the university and city are happy with.
“The Mission Valley project has enormous potential to enhance virtually every aspect of the SDSU student experience: education, research, creative activity and personal and academic discovery,” CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said. “I look forward to further engaging with the city of San Diego as we work expeditiously to finalize and execute the purchase agreement.”
SDSU’s offer includes terms that it will assume the responsibility of maintaining the current stadium and demolishing it when required.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer also voiced his approval for the project.
“We are within grasp of a modern multi-use stadium, a world-class river park for all San Diegans to enjoy and a world-class education and research hub to ensure the SDSU legacy lives on for generations to come,” he said. “Today we take another step toward bringing that vision to life.”
Voters approved the sale of the stadium property — located at 9449 Friars Road — in November 2018 via Measure G.
According to university plans, when the Mission Valley project is completed it will have facilities for 15,000 full-time equivalent students, a 35,000-seat stadium, 400 hotel rooms, 13,000 parking spaces, retail and conference space and 4,600 units of housing for students and faculty. The university has also committed to building a 34-acre river park — estimated to cost $30 million — within seven years of any sale agreement and before any buildings on the site are occupied.
The project will be paid with university system debt, as well as long-term repayment from public-private partnership ground lease revenues.