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The Centre City Development Corp. is slated to discuss the future of the proposed Ballpark Village development when it meets at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The downtown redevelopment agency is likely to formally kill negotiations on the $1.4 billion project, which had been proposed by Padres owner John Moores’ development company, JMI Realty.

JMI notified CCDC in December that it was withdrawing its plans to build a massive hotel on the property adjacent to Petco Park. CCDC’s board needs to take formal action to conclude the negotiations.

The project would be the latest casualty of the fallout from former CCDC President Nancy Graham’s undisclosed financial relationships. While negotiating the development’s details, Graham had an undisclosed relationship with Lennar Corp., a nationwide developer and part owner of the 7.1 acres upon which Ballpark Village would be built. Graham received at least $125,000 in 2007 from a Florida development deal she struck with Lennar. She never reported the income in conflict disclosure forms she filed annually and did not recuse herself from negotiations. She has since been charged with committing five misdemeanor conflict-of-interest and ethics violations.

JMI feared that moving forward with the project could subject it to a potential invalidation if any project opponents sued to challenge Graham’s involvement. State law prohibits public officials from negotiating deals that can benefit themselves or their business partners. If an official’s involvement in a contract is found to be illegal, courts can toss out the contract.

JMI spent the last year and a half working to secure CCDC approval to eliminate 300,000 square feet of office space and instead build a massive 1,929-room Marriott International hotel on the parking lot east of Petco. If the project is rekindled, the negotiations will have to start from scratch.

ROB DAVIS

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