City revamping plans to reinstate sports arena-area property leases
by Dave Schwab
Published - 09/04/13 - 02:26 PM | 4706 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
North Bay Community Planning Group (NBCPG) members said they were encouraged by news that progress is being made on renewing or extending leases on several city-owned properties east of the sports arena.

The city owns not only the sports arena property, but also the properties on either side of it, including the commercial strip where Red Lobster and Phil’s BBQ are, the commercial area where SOMA nightclub and Kobey’s Swap Meet’s corporate offices are, down to Dixieline and Pier One Imports. The long-vacant, deteriorating Black Angus restaurant site is also east of the sports arena.

Community planners were told that the Valley View Casino Center’s (formerly the San Diego Sports Arena) lease is up in 2020 and that Phil’s BBQ’s lease runs out in 2018. It was pointed out that most other area leaseholders are month-to month, a situation that has caused consternation among merchants because of uncertainty over their future. NBCPG chairwoman Melanie Nickel said it’s paramount that the city begin renegotiating leases with surrounding leaseholders because “we don’t want derelict properties. We want coordination so all the leases come up at once, not this scattershot approach.”

John Ly of District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s office, whose district includes the sports arena area, said it’s been the policy of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department to put a “hold on these properties because they want to put together a master plan.”

If the NBCPG wishes, Ly said Faulconer will work with city real estate assets to “see things (leases) get extended so we don’t have a ghost town.”

Chuck Pretto of Kobey’s Swap Meet said he signed a new lease recently to move out of his existing company headquarters at 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., Suite K.

“We’re moving over near Phil’s BBQ in the Sports Arena Villa, taking the old city regulations office suite,” Pretto said.

Dixieline Lumber Co., at 3250 Sports Arena Blvd., is in the process of remodeling its existing site with the expectation that its current lease — set to expire in a matter of months — will be renewed.

In other matters, Tait Galloway from the former city Planning Department that has now been renamed the Neighborhood Restoration Department, also has a new director. Urban planner Bill Fulton, a former mayor in Ventura, will assume the new role.

Galloway said he’s been working on North Bay’s community plan update.

“We’ll have a working draft to share with the planning group at your next meeting [in September],” said Galloway.

Nickel said the group’s entire meeting on Sept. 18 will be devoted to the community plan update. 

The Midway/Pacific Highway Corridor Community is made up of the central Midway area and the narrow, linear-shaped Pacific Highway Corridor. It has an urbanized commercial core containing numerous shopping centers and institutional facilities. There are a few multi-family residential complexes located in the western portion of the community adjacent to Point Loma. The planning area is generally characterized by a variety of commercial retail activities and wide, multi-directional traffic intersections.

The NBCPG meets the third Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. at San Diego Community College’s West City Campus, 3249 Forham St., in Room 208.

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