Valencia Business Park: Hasty RFP Doesn’t Remedy Long Neglect

July 22, 2020

Mayor Kevin Faulconer
City Admin Building
11th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Council President Gómez
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Bry
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Kersey
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Sherman
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campbell
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Ward
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Dear Mayor and Members of the San Diego City Council,

The residents of the City’s 4th District have been waiting since 2006 for the Valencia Business Park Property to be Developed.  We all know how poorly the site was handled then, and how the residents of the 4th District had the anticipated benefit snatched away because of insider deals and poor management.  We wondered then if such a debacle would have occurred in a different area of the city.

The land remains vacant and undeveloped to this day.  

Now the City is once again promising to develop the site.  Sadly, we see this effort as doomed to fail.  The City has not taken the intervening decade to work through a solid, fair RFP process and get a solid, successful development in the Valencia Business Park property.  Instead, the City is throwing out an RFP with less than two months for developers to respond.  Where has your sense of urgency been for the last decade?  It is gut-wrenching to see careless haste being used to cover so many years of inaction.  It is gut-wrenching to see a process that will give no one new and innovative a chance, but will only favor the same developer who already has purchased so much of the area.

We need developments that generate tax revenue. We need more grocery stores.  We need less pollution.  The Earl B Gilliam Post Office that will anchor the development will bring much traffic to the area, and we need the Business Improvement District to do its job and fill the vacant storefronts and produce an environment around the Valencia Business Park that will be conducive to success. 

Speaking of success, we are puzzled that the City chose to return the Federal money contingent on the creation of jobs, and yet you promise “72” jobs from this development.  Why 72?  Such a specific number must come from somewhere; we hope it isn’t from a proposal you anticipate seeing from a particular developer.  Furthermore, what the area needs is good jobs for area residents, with potential for growth.  We don’t like to see wording that seems to limit the sorts of jobs brought in, even to laudable things like service to the community.

Stop this 21st-Century redlining.  Stop treating us like a population that must be forever on “life support.” Give us what is fair, so we can thrive, and see just what the residents of the 4th District can do with opportunity rather than neglect and ill-considered promises.

Sincerely,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch