Karen Huff-Willis, chairwoman of the Black Historical Society of San Diego, is calling for the Centre City Development Corp. to toss out and re-bid a developer’s project at 7th Avenue and Market Street downtown.

Huff-Willis cites the involvement of CCDC President Nancy Graham in the negotiations of the deal with the developer, Related of California. Graham, a former business partner with a sister company of Related, had meetings with the company during the deal’s negotiation process, despite saying she was not involved.

In a letter to CCDC’s attorney, Helen Holmes Peak, Huff-Willis writes:

We believe Ms. Graham continues to be less than candid as to the extent to which she may have influenced the decision to award the 7th and Market Street Project to her former business partner, Related. The public trust in the process must be restored and we believe only a full and open investigation into the matter can resolve pressing and unanswered questions over what may have motivated CCDC’s top executive to initially deny all involvement in the process, only to backtrack as the evidence continues to mount that she may have greatly influenced the awarding of the contract.

The society has worked to secure a historic designation for the Clermont Hotel, which occupies one corner of the otherwise-empty city block at 7th and Market.

ROB DAVIS

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