ASM Global team rekindles bid for San Diego arena project

ASM Global is among the companies involved in a fresh bid to develop a new facility on the site currently occupied by the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

ASM Global is joined by Affirmed Housing, Brookfield Properties and National CORE on the Discover Midway proposal, which has signalled its intention to redevelop the 48-acre property with a “fresh, community-crafted approach”.

Discover Midway has shared its plans following the release of the City of San Diego’s Notice of Availability for the sports arena site. The group envisions a “reimagined or brand-new” sports arena forming part of a mixed-use development that also includes housing, office, retail, parks and green spaces.

Discover Midway also plans on incorporating new transit, pedestrian and bicycle connections, enhancements and amenities to help expand safe, efficient, equitable and sustainable access to surrounding communities. Over the past year, Discover Midway has been working with the Sports Arena Community Advisory Board (CAB) to gather community input that will shape its strategy.

A previously approved proposal from ASM Global and Brookfield Properties centred on a new arena (pictured), 2,100 housing units, an entertainment district and retail space, but this was rejected last year by the California Department of Housing and Community Development on the grounds that it violated the state’s Surplus Land Act.

In June, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria hit out at the administration led by his predecessor, Kevin Faulconer, after it appeared that plans for the arena would be scrapped. Gloria said at the time he was committed to expeditiously beginning a new bid process for the sports arena site that prioritises affordable housing and complies with state law.

The City of San Diego has now released new redevelopment guidelines, which has led to ASM Global revising plans for the arena. The plans outlined by Discover Midway designates at least 25% of the on-site housing as affordable.

Chuck Steedman, executive vice-president at ASM Global, said: “ASM Global, which manages and operates the world’s largest and most iconic portfolio of venues, looks forwarding to continuing to curate the best content for San Diego.

“Alongside the rest of the Discover Midway team, we’re excited to further raise the bar by delivering options for an exceptional, new sports and entertainment hub that reflects the authenticity of our home.”

The initial proposal from ASM Global and Brookfield Properties was selected ahead of a rival proposal from a development team led by Toll Brothers Housing, which envisioned the development of an amphitheatre, a new stadium for United Soccer League (USL) club San Diego Loyal and a large public park.

Discover Midway is expected to face competition to redevelop the arena site. Pechanga Arena, which opened in 1966, has a capacity of 14,600 and is used to host a range of sports and music events.

Image: Brookfield Properties