By Aziza Jackson
SAN DIEGO — San Diego State University (SDSU) has plans for a proposed Mission Valley campus that envisions a vibrant, mixed-use, medium-density development that is transit-oriented — and expands the university’s educational, research, entrepreneurial, and technology transfer programs.
SDSU Mission Valley will provide SDSU with the opportunity to build a world class university research and innovation district just three trolley stops from the main campus. It will allow for SDSU to grow and serve more students, as well as increase its economic impact on the region. SDSU will also build a river park for all San Diegans to enjoy, along with housing, and a new multi-use stadium.
The project would include roughly 1.5 million square feet of campus/tech office space located adjacent to the stadium to activate the space and create an incubator-like feel to the area, as well as to provide modern facilities for SDSU’s internationally recognized researchers, consolidation of offices for faculty and staff, and homes for our interdisciplinary teams researching climate and sustainability, water scarcity and other critical topics. The expansion of community clinics in health and counseling will also provide more opportunities for community engagement.
“The buildings on campus will reflect the fact that it will be a place of collaboration between the academic and private sectors,” said site plan consultant John Kratzer, president and CEO of JMI Realty. “While the plan remains a work-in-progress, we listened to the community and believe that this plan represents a balanced approach to the needs for active and passive recreational spaces as well as biological habitat.”
With the preservation of the River Park and expansion of green spaces planned throughout the Mission Valley site, the university’s site plan mirrors SDSU’s expanding commitment to sustainability, as evidenced by recently constructed LEED silver buildings on the main campus.
“We are committed to LEED silver or better for SDSU Mission Valley,” said Kratzer.
SDSU envisions that just over 4,500 units be built to accommodate students, faculty, staff, as well as the general public. This housing will include townhomes, mid-rise and high-rise residential communities situated along various green belts and pocket parks located throughout the site.
After the siting and design of the plan area’s open and recreational spaces, trails, and River Park, the next priority was to sensitively locate an expandable 35,000-seat multiuse stadium. Located in the upper northwest corner of the site, the stadium would house Aztec football and accommodate professional soccer, as well as a multitude of other sporting and community events.
“These renderings really show how important high-quality open space is to us as a university,” said Robert Schulz, SDSU’s associate vice president of operations and the university’s architect. “I think the campus green space and parks are going to be a great resource to the community.”
SDSU intends to begin construction in 2020 on the San Diego River Park and a multi-use stadium, while preparing the site for further development. The stadium would be planned for completion in 2022, at which time SDSU would demolish the existing stadium and the remainder of the development can begin. The completion of the full project, including the campus research and innovation district, housing, and hotel and retail development, will be done in a phased rollout. SDSU’s current estimate is that it will take approximately 10-15 years for full build-out.