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On Jan. 22 the U-T San Diego published a front-page editorial describing plans for a new Chargers stadium at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal. This “big” plan has many obstacles which range from displacing national strategic port operations and jobs, labor litigation and environmental issues. Under the plan this development would occur as part of the Convention Center expansion.
I have another plan. About 2.5 miles northeast of the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal is another port tidelands property prime for a “big” plan. The 27.5 acres site is currently the home of Hertz and Avis rental car lots. Under the airport’s Destination Lindbergh plan, these lots are going to move to the northeast side of the airport in a multi-story garage as part of an inter-modal transit center. The port is actively looking for tenants who can fill a long term void that Avis and Hertz will be leaving. If the Chargers want to tag onto a major local development — make it Destination Lindbergh.
Spanos, Manchester, et al. will surely grumble at the idea of a less “big” plan, but in January 2010 they actively pursued a 41-acre site in East Village located just south of Petco Park. Qualcomm Stadium sits on approximately 20 acres, without parking. The benefits of utilizing this property are not limited to the traditional jobs, labor and environmental obstacles, but more importantly, a plan on the proposed site is likely to get the Chargers, the port, the airport and maybe Mayor Jerry Sanders all working together. A broad coalition like this would be hard to stop. This is an idea the entire city can get behind.
Ari Isaak lives in North Park.
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