San Diego Ballpark Neighborhood Revitalization
San Diego, California, USA
Metro Area: San Diego
World Region: North America

ULI Award Winner!
Project Summary

Project Type:
Special Use
Profile Summary

Land Use(s):
Stadium, Restaurants, Apartments, Retail, Downtown Hotel, Library, Structured Parking, Open Space

Site Size:
82.0 acres/33.2 hectares

Location Type:
Other Central City

Date Posted:


Urban Waterfront Development, Public/Private Partnership, Redevelopment

Project Summary

Located just two blocks from the historic Gaslamp Quarter (a popular downtown dining, shopping, and entertainment district) and across the street from the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego’s East Village neighborhood had long been viewed as one of San Diego’s most dangerous, dilapidated neighborhoods. Abandoned warehouses and empty lots predominated, and the ground was contaminated from nearly 100 years of industrial uses. However, the 2000 launch of a major redevelopment effort centered around the construction of PETCO Park, the new stadium for the San Diego Padres baseball team, has transformed East Village into one of downtown’s fastest-growing and most popular neighborhoods.

The Padres worked cooperatively with the city of San Diego and CCDC—a public, nonprofit entity created by the city to facilitate downtown redevelopment—to create a ballpark district that would best leverage the public investment in PETCO Park to attract additional private development. The Padres added $153 million to a $300 million public investment in PETCO Park and also agreed to support a well-planned mix of development around the ballpark that has generated more than $300 million in new assessed value.

Hundreds of community meetings were held to ensure public involvement in the design of the ballpark and the adjacent Park-at-the-Park public park as well as to keep community members engaged in development plans for the blocks surrounding the ballpark. A significant environmental cleanup of the area was conducted, which required substantial cooperation among a variety of public agencies. The ballpark project weathered 17 lawsuits and two years of delays.

The ballpark project involved the preservation of numerous historic structures, including the Western Metal Supply Company building, one corner of which serves as the left-field foul pole—making it the most recognizable symbol of PETCO Park. The Western Metal building now contains a restaurant, a museum, and the team store. The ballpark also features the nearly three-acre (1.2 ha) Park-at-the-Park, which serves both as a public gathering place and playground and as a venue from which fans can pay as little as $5 to watch a baseball game while seated on the grass. A revitalized trolley line runs through the neighborhood.

Most private developers waited to proceed with residential and commercial projects on surrounding blocks until they were sure that the ballpark would indeed be built. Only three years after the April 2004 opening of PETCO Park, an estimated $4.3 billion in residential, commercial, and public development—including 8,300 residential units, 1,100 hotel rooms, 1.2 million square feet (111,484 m2) of commercial space, and more than 3,600 parking spaces—is either planned, underway, or completed within the nearly 60-block ballpark neighborhood area. Thousands of new residents have moved into the neighborhood, two new hotels have opened, several public parking structures have been built, and retailers and restaurateurs are arriving. The momentum fueled by the development of the ballpark is remaking East Village, which is transforming into a vibrant mixed-use, mixed-income community. The substantial risk taken by the public sector in this redevelopment effort has proven incredibly successful, and the private sector is now driving billions of dollars worth of continuing investment. This public/private initiative has become a true model of smart growth and neighborhood revitalization.

The Development Team

San Diego Padres
JMI Realty Inc.
Bosa Development
Cisterra Partners LLC
Douglas Wilson Companies


Site Statistics

  Acres Hectares
Site Size 82 33.2

  Square Feet Square Meters
Office Space 27,000 2,508
Retail Space 170,000 15,794
Industrial Space NA NA

Residential Units NA
--Single-Family Units NA
--Multifamily Units 2,453
Hotel Rooms 747
Parking Spaces 2,600
Max Floors NA
Use Data Status Unknown

* NA = Not Available

Date Started 2000
Date Opened
Date Completed

Project Web Site

Project Street Address

San Diego, California, USA

Primary Data Source

Award Winner:

Other Source(s)