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SAN DIEGO, CA-What’s the key to turning a seedy, desolate Downtown into the crowning jewel of an urban landscape? “Keep your eye on the goal and don’t let obstacles become your focus,” says Peter Hall, president of San Diego’s Centre City Development Corp.

Hall was one of four speakers at the CoreNet Global Summit’s “Trouble in Paradise session – one of the many events held during the five-day conference that is wrapping up today at the San Diego Convention Center. The session, which focused on the renovation of Downtown San Diego, featured representatives from both the public and private sector who have played a pivotal role here in the new renaissance.

The speakers, which included Hall; Julie Meier Wright, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.; John Kratzer, president and CEO of JMI Realty Inc. and Hank Cunningham, director of Community and Economic Development for the City of San Diego; talked about the triumphs and setbacks that have been encountered on the route to Downtown’s “second renaissance,” as Wright described it. This second renaissance consists of the major spurt of new development currently occurring here, which includes the Padres Ballpark and the adjacent 26-block redevelopment area known as the Ballpark District.

The Padres Ballpark, which began in 1996 and was originally slated to open in April 2002, has had to contend with a slew of obstacles and as a result, completion is now scheduled for April 2004. The project, which involves a significant public/private partnership between the City of San Diego and JMI Realty Inc., has thus far been faced with a number of challenges, including 18 lawsuits, changing economic cycles and millions of dollars in delay costs. However, the partnership is currently courting success in the face of adversary, which Hall attributes to having a good plan. “These things that happened are cyclical, so what you have to do is stick to that plan. Stay the course and make it happen.”

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