It sure looks like the city of San Diego is preparing its vast land holdings in the Midway District, around the Valley View Casino Center, for something big.
VOSD Contributor Lynn Walsh went to look for everything public about what’s happening there and the basics point to a city preparing to request major redevelopment proposals for the old Sports Arena. The city is not renewing leases for businesses around that large parking lot beyond 2020. Pier 1 Imports recently passed on a city offer to extend to 2020.
And that includes the arena itself. The longtime general manager there says he wants a deal of up to seven more years. It hasn’t come yet.
At the same time, the area is getting a new community plan — zoning changes that could increase the number of housing units by nearly six times.
• The Valley View Casino Center GM Ernie Hahn wouldn’t talk to Walsh but gave an interview to IVN.
Culture Report: National City Can’t Accommodate Artist Spaces
Gloria Poore, a pioneer of the local arts scene, who once helped East Village develop into a hub of live-work spaces, tried to do the same in National City. It has not gone so well. The city told her to rip out her improvements.
“She said she no longer has the energy to fight the same, years-long battle she did decades ago in San Diego to get the live-work ordinance on the books. Instead, she put the National City warehouse up for sale and bought a house in Michigan, where she lives most of the time,” writes Kinsee Morlan.
Also in this week’s Culture Report: The leader of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture resigns, a collective offers tours of border wall prototypes
Notes from the Underworld
• Local and federal law enforcement agents are pulling off stings meant to capture men trying to pay for sex and eventually lower demand for human trafficking. (NBC)
• An SDSU professor helped law enforcement decode emojis used in sex ads. Emojis are the little pictures people are using as text but certain ones have come to mean certain things in the underworld.
• Some 77 people were found in the back of a UPS truck. The driver said he was supposed to get $100 for each person he smuggled.
Quick Hits: RIP Kevin Towers
• There are more signs the era of easier budgets at the city of San Diego is coming to a close. The hepatitis A crisis and wildfires squeezed the city’s budget, reports the U-T.
• San Diego’s sports world mourned the passing of Kevin Towers, the former GM of the San Diego Padres. He died at 56 after battling cancer.
• Hotel owners are putting their money where their mouths are with an investment in signature gathering for the campaign to increase hotel taxes and expand the Convention Center. (U-T)
• The sunset yesterday was epic. Lots of pics, but this one from a pro probably nailed it best.
What to watch for today: Sounds like SDSU is about to name a new president.