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A new group of real estate and sports business experts from San Diego and elsewhere have formed a group to explore serving as the development partner that will be needed to make any Chargers stadium proposal pencil out.

Finding a development partner to help shoulder the substantial investment and risk in a project expected to top $1 billion proved elusive for the Chargers in their now-dead Qualcomm Stadium proposal. But, as the team now moves forward with possible deals in National City and Chula Vista, the need for such a partner is as strong as ever.

The new group – known as LTTW Partners – is comprised of Rob Lankford, president and CEO of San Diego-based developer Lankford & Associates; real estate and construction consultant Jerry Trammer, who specializes in public finance in commercial development; E.J. Narcise of Team Services, LLC, which deals in such things as sports consulting and naming rights; and Porter Wharton III, a Colorado-based expert in entitlements and government and public affairs.

I just got off the phone with Wharton, who is serving as the spokesman of the group. He believes his group has the financial resources and the experience to partner with the Chargers and local government to hammer out a deal.

“There’s going to have to be another leg to this stool,” Wharton said. “That’s the private development side.”

He said Lankford and Trammer, both San Diego residents, called him about six months ago “and expressed their concern that the Chargers could potentially leave the area.”

The group has met with Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani a couple of times. “We are going to introduce ourselves to the people in National City and other municipalities and/or property owners that want to be involved in the stadium process,” said Wharton, who’s worked on seven professional sports facilities including the Denver Broncos home, Invesco Field at Mile High.

Another local developer, Knoefler Enterprises, has also met with the Chargers to discuss the National City idea. The family-owned company is currently planning the Green Village development in National City, which is envisioned as environmentally sustainable development.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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