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Pechanga Arena Site Eyed for Redevelopment in RFP

Pechanga Arena

As part of an effort to remake the land around Pechanga Arena, the City of San Diego has issued a request for proposals to redevelop the 48-acre site.

San Diego officials have spent considerable time mapping out future planning for the city’s Midway District, which includes the arena. The goal has been to see the area gradually reshaped by development that could include measures such as new housing, entertainment options, office and retail, recreation space, and efforts that make the area more friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians.

That process took a step forward on Friday, when San Diego issued a RFP for interested parties to redevelop, rehabilitate, operate, maintain and manage the city-owned 48-acre area. The 48 acres are made up of six continuous parcels of the land, with the 34-acre site that includes the arena and surrounding parking being the largest in that group.

As for Pechanga Arena itself, the city is midst of separate negotiations with Anaheim Arena Management over a three-year management contract for the venue. The RFP process allows interested bidders to “propose renovating and rebuilding the existing Pechanga Arena with new commercial retail, office and residential space offerings,” according to a city announcement. More from the San Diego-Union Tribune:

The goal is to entice builders to dream up plans that introduce a mix of entertainment, housing, retail, office and public spaces — and ultimately add character to the Midway District. The successful bidder will need to lease the sports arena site from the city and must keep, restore or rebuild the arena.

“The city is looking for a game-changer in the sports arena area to reactivate and reinvigorate that area,” said Cybele Thompson, who heads the city’s real estate assets division. “Proposers can really do anything (with the property). We didn’t want to limit creativity.”…

City officials are in negotiations for a three-year lease for Pechanga Arena San Diego, home to the San Diego Gulls, the San Diego Sockers and other teams.

The 16,000-seat venue, which opened in 1966, hosts about 145 sports and entertainment events, and 650,000 people each year. Kobey’s Swap Meet, a popular outdoor flea market, also operates on the site. The interim agreement is meant to keep business running as usual until the redevelopment plan is ready to go.

Responses to the RFP are due June 4. The announcement of the RFP can be viewed here.

Though an aging facility–it originally opened in 1966–Pechanga Arena remains active for various events, concerts, and indoor sports, including home games for minor-league hockey’s San Diego Gulls (AHL). The Gulls have been a solid draw there since relocating to San Diego from Norfolk, VA in 2015, when it was one of several AHL clubs that moved from the east coast to the west coast and joined the league’s newly formed Pacific Division.

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