Oak View Group is out and new investors with ties to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings are now in, as five groups seek city approval of the affordable-housing and San Diego arena project.
It’s been quite the journey in the San Diego arena project, what with one false start and a redo of the bid project to include affordable housing to meet state guidelines. So, in keeping with the tumultuous nature of the process, it’s no surprise that the final bids–which were due Friday–included some last-minute changes. (We’ve previously covered other bids for the 48-acre site; check it out.)
In the biggest change, venue giant Oak View Group is out. An original plan for the Midway Village+ group included a housing plan from Toll Brothers and a climate-neutral arena from Oak View Group, which has certainly been the most active player in arena development recently. But that activity has some limits, apparently: after opening a new Seattle arena, planning for a new Manchester (UK) arena and embarking on a new Palm Spring arena while also acquiring venue-management firm Spectra, Oak View Group withdrew from the San Diego arena project and plans to build a Pechanga Arena replacement, per the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Oak View’s exit was an unexpected blow, said David Malmuth, a San Diego-based development consultant and Midway Village+ project executive. However, the team regrouped and was, within days, sitting down for a “taco summit” with its future partner.
“I picked my jaw off the floor. … It was a bad day, for sure,” Malmuth said of receiving the Nov. 4 phone call from Oak View Co-Founder Tim Leiweke. Leiweke told Malmuth the group would be pulling out of the bid because of regulatory concerns related to its purchase of venue management company Spectra, the operator of the in-construction Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley. “But I woke up the next day and got to work.”
Replacing Oak View Group: Newport Beach-based Revitate, a private equity investor with ties to the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center. The plan calls for Revitate to build a 15,000-seat arena (shown below), along with 1,000 affordable-housing units, a hotel, a 3,500-seat event center and potentially a 20,000-seat soccer stadium for San Diego Loyal, currently competing in USL Championship.
Meanwhile, there are changes in some other bids. Most notably, the Midway Rising group has added Legends as a partner. Legends began life as a concessions company founded by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys but has since expanded into a venue, planning and technology consultant. Their arena plan (as shown in the image at the top of this page) calls for a “modern arena,” but some details have not been released.
As noted, the deadline for bids was Friday; the city will take 90 days to select a finalist and negotiate a final development deal before the City Council takes action on the project.
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