The East County Economic Development Council has received a $50,000 grant from The San Diego Foundation to develop an aerotropolis strategic roadmap for the area surrounding Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon.

The grant is from the foundation’s Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement, according to a statement from the economic development council. Officials are studying ways to make the area around Gillespie Field into a hub for concentrated trade and industry to stimulate the East County economy.

The economic development group is developing matching funds for the roadmap process in collaboration with regional partners, including the cities of Santee and El Cajon. The San Diego Foundation will also be offering “applicable expertise and experience” in moving the aerotropolis concept forward.

Jo Marie Diamond, president and CEO of the development council, said the aerotropolis strategic framework will allow the council to coordinate near-, mid-, and far-term priorities to leverage Gillespie Field as a regional asset.

— SDBJ Staff Report