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San Diego Padres, Tishman Speyer Look to Redevelop Ballpark-Adjacent Site

Bid to Turn Parking Lot into Mixed-Use Project Could Mirror Giants' Mission Rock

By Lou Hirsh CoStar News

Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres are teaming up with developers including Tishman Speyer in a bid to transform a downtown parking lot next to the team’s Petco Park stadium into a commercial complex with offices, housing and public space.

The team announced Thursday it has partnered with prominent San Diego developer Cisterra Development, New York developer Tishman Speyer and investment firm Ascendant Capital Partners in a bid to acquire and redevelop a city-owned 7.6-acre parking lot known locally as Tailgate Park.

The site has been a popular pre-game tailgating and socializing spot for Padres fans since the 2004 opening of Petco Park. Now, the city is looking to turn the site into a tax-revenue-generating hub with a mix of elements, spanning up to 2 million square feet,

that could include affordable apartments, offices, retail, hotels, dining or entertainment.

“It was always envisioned that the ballpark would serve as the catalyst for downtown’s redevelopment and Tailgate Park would be transformed from a surface parking lot into a vibrant mixed-use development,” Erik Greupner, the Padres’ president of business operations, said in a statement.

Nationwide development near sports stadiums is becoming increasingly common, as professional teams look to maximize the value of land near existing arenas to create year-round generators of revenue beyond sports seasons, including apartments, offices, retail and entertainment spaces. California alone has multiple sports-centric commercial projects in the works, in cities including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anaheim and Sacramento.

Based on the size of the lot, the San Diego project could become a mini version of a much larger mixed-use Northern California development that Tishman Speyer is already building in partnership with the MLB’s San Francisco Giants, called Mission Rock, with offices, apartments and other commercial and civic elements.

Padres Next Fifty LLC, the team’s investment subsidiary, plans to spearhead the redevelopment if the group’s project is ultimately selected by the city. The group’s initial plans include commercial offices, increased ballpark-dedicated parking, market-rate and affordable housing and a public plaza and gathering space. A Padres spokesman said project renderings are not yet available.

Padres officials said in November that the team planned to submit a project proposal, after the city of San Diego announced that it was putting the lot up for competitive proposals from developers. City officials did not immediately return requests for comment on other development teams that have shown interest in the site.

“With its strong, diversified economy and unparalleled quality of life, downtown San Diego offers an ideal canvas for a dynamic, mixed-use project anchored by world-class offices, housing, amenities and public spaces,” said Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer in the Padres’ statement.

The downtown lot is currently used for parking and is operated by the Padres under a long-term lease with the city that runs through 2043. Any future use of the site will need to comply with the Padres lease, regardless of who redevelops the site, including the provision of equivalent ballpark parking spaces displaced by redevelopment.

The city in December issued a formal request for developer qualifications and accepted submissions through the end of February. According to marketing materials posted by the city’s brokers at JLL, the city is expected to issue a request for specific proposals later this month, with submissions due before the end of June.

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