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San Diego Voters Reject New Development And Infrastructure Projects

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The San Diego Chargers lost their bid for the downtown convadium, a football stadium and Convention Center complex, with the failure of Measure C. The proposition would have raised the hotel tax from 12.5% to 16.5% to help fund the project. It garnered just 43% of the vote, far less than even a simple majority, ABC 10 News reports.

Since the election, Chargers board chair Dean Spanos has remained mum about the team’s plans going forward. The Chargers may still exercise their option to move to the new Rams stadium in Inglewood, but would have to pay the NFL’s $550M relocation fee.

Measure D, which would have raised the hotel tax to fund a Convention Center expansion only, also failed.

A statewide measure, Prop 51, which provides $9B in school construction bonds passed, with 54% of the vote. Developers statewide were holding their breath on this one—had it failed, Level 3 Developer Fees for school construction could have tripled from $3/SF to $10/SF.

Californians also passed Prop 64, legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with 56.2% of the vote. California could mirror some of the positive changes Colorado experienced following marijuana legalization, including increased demand for both warehouse and retail space and redevelopment of decaying neighborhoods.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute earlier this year, Denver journalist Patricia Calhoun said dispensaries, some of which are as sleek as Banana Republic and The Apple Store, have revitalized downtown Denver and smaller nearby cities with struggling retail districts. She said marijuana dispensaries put upward pressure on retail rents, similar to what happened when the craft brewery craze generated a rent spike. Marijuana tenants tend to pay a rent premium of two to three times the average asking rate.

Encinitas rejected Measure T with 56% of voters against the housing element update, which would have brought the city into compliance with a state law that requires cities to map sites for future affordable housing.

Likewise, San Diego County voters rejected Measure B, which would have allowed local developer Accretive Investments to develop Lilac Hills Ranch, a proposed 608-acre master planned community with 1,746 residential units (multifamily and single-family) 10 miles north of Escondido. The project included 90k SF of retail and office space, a country inn and recreational uses.

Measure A, a proposal by the San Diego Association of Governments to raise sales tax by a half percent to fund infrastructure projects, including mass transit and road repairs, failed too. The measure, which was estimated to raise $18B over the next 40 years received 56.92% of the vote, but required two-thirds to pass. [10News