The city’s downtown redevelopment agency is set to take the first formal step toward spending more money on further development — including a potential Chargers stadium — at a committee meeting next month.
Fred Maas, board chairman of the Centre City Development Corp., said the agency’s budget and finance committee on Jan. 13 will consider authorizing a study that could lead to an increase in the redevelopment dollars the agency can spend.
State laws caps how much money CCDC can collect and spend over its lifetime. Currently, the agency estimates it has $386 million in discretionary dollars remaining, not enough to finance a potential Chargers stadium in East Village and other projects, Maas and other city leaders and Chargers officials have said.
This process will be politically complicated, requiring state approval as well as tacit approval of other government entities that receive downtown tax revenues. Essentially, other governments have to agree to receive less money from downtown now in exchange for the possibility of higher revenues down the line.
“This is going to be a collective process and everyone is going to have to come to the conclusion that this benefits the public who we collectively represent,” Maas said.
Maas and Mayor Jerry Sanders floated the idea with San Diego County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts last month. Maas and agency Vice President Frank Alessi met with County Administrator Walt Ekard last Monday and is planning to meet with the other government entities soon.
The study, which would declare areas of downtown underutilized or deteriorated, requires approval of the downtown agency’s full board and City Council. The agency could approve the study on Jan. 27, Maas said. The study could take three to six months.
Also at the agency’s Jan. 27 meeting, will be a presentation from stadium consultant Mitchell Ziets.
Ziets, who has consulted on 40 stadium projects nationwide, was hired in November to determine how the city and team could finance an $800 million stadium. The Chargers have said they would contribute $250 million-$300 million, leaving $500 million in public funds needed.
Ziets will give an overview of recent NFL stadium efforts, Maas said.
“We need to understand the defined universe of what’s been acceptable to other cities and to the NFL,” he said.
Maas expected Ziets’ study to be complete this spring.
This story will give you background on the Chargers stadium search to this point.
— LIAM DILLON