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SAN DIEGO-After several months of discussions regarding the size of the community park to be built within the mixed-use East Village Square development, locally based JMI Realty Inc. and the city of San Diego have worked out a new proposal that will more than double the size of the space.

According to the terms of the new proposal, the Park at the Park project will now encompass 2.7 acres, meaning that San Diego residents will get the larger-sized community space that they originally envisioned. After the approval of Proposition C in 1998, the park’s original size was gradually whittled down due to East Village Square agreements between the former San Diego City Council and the Padres.

This past spring, however, Mayor Dick Murphy and the current San Diego City Council directed the city and Centre City Development staff to negotiate for a larger community park. The mayor yanked JMI Realty’s proposal from the city council’s April 29th docket, saying that the city “must keep the faith” with San Diego’s voters.

The revised proposal between the city and JMI prohibits new development on the center field block of East Village Square other than the rehabilitation of the historic Sheiffer building. It also bans encroachment into the 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue view corridors, expect for subterranean parking. JMI Realty and the Padres are only permitted to build up to 640,000 sf of residential and commercial development on the left field and right field blocks in East Village Square, a figure that has been reduced from the 800,000 sf approved earlier this year by the Centre City Development Corp. In addition, the East Village Square retail component will be reduced to 65,000 sf from 100,000 sf. However, the Ballpark District’s overall retail sector will remain untouched at 150,000 sf.

In exchange for the enlargement of the park, the CCDC will refund $3.5 million to the Padres, who paid the sum in 1999 to reduce the size of the Park at the Park project and expand the square footage of the East Village Square development. CCDC will also shell out an additional $500,000 to the Padres to cover interest and other costs.

The new proposal will now have to pass through various channels, including a public review process of the park and the East Village Square development.

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