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Developer Impact Fees To Generate $49.2M For Public Projects In Downtown San Diego

Multifamily project on Ninth Avenue

Downtown San Diego’s construction boom is expected to generate $49.2M in developer impact fees over the next five years, according to a new Civic San Diego report. DIFs cover the developer’s share of a project’s impact on parks, transportation and fire station requirements, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. The multifamily project pictured, rising on Ninth Avenue, is among the many residential projects under construction in Downtown. 

This level of funding represents a windfall for projects in these three categories. It will be generated in part by an 80% DIF increase that went into effect last year. The boost raised the impact fee from $4,361 to $7,883/dwelling unit. The new policy also imposes a fee of $326/average daily trip generated by commercial development, but adjusted the commercial development fee downward from $2,219/SF to $807/SF. Developers also pay fees for the planning department handling entitlements, affordable housing and building permits.

While fee changes expanded funding available for public projects, it still is not enough to cover the $1.6B in public projects needed to accommodate projected growth in Downtown SD's population and workforce over the next 20 years, according to Civic SD’s Downtown Community Plan, which estimates Downtown is less than half built out after 15 years of residential and commercial growth. Since beginning Downtown’s redevelopment in 2001, nearly 16,000 residential units have been built, 2.2M SF of retail and office space, and 3,700 hotel rooms. Another 11,000 residential units are in the works, as well as nearly 3.9M SF of commercial space and another 3,700 hotel rooms.

Eight projects costing $18.1M are slated for the current fiscal year ending in June 2017, including another $5M for East Village Green on top of the $20M previously allocated for this 4.1-acre park project. Among other DIF allocations: $3M for a Children’s Park at Front Street and Harbor Drive; $4.3M for North Central Square, a small park at Eighth Avenue and C Street that is part of a condo project by Bosa Development; $4.1M for traffic signal and street improvements; and $1.5M for landscaping sidewalks and medians. [SDUT]