71.3 F
San Diego
Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Technology Tech park study worries Chula Vista

Technology: City Prefers to Keep 700-Acre Expanse Available for University

CHULA VISTA , Seven hundred acres envisioned as a University of California campus for the South Bay might serve well as a high-tech industrial park.

So says a recently unveiled study on finding a home for high-tech and biotech manufacturing in San Diego County.

The university and industry could even coexist on the Chula Vista property, according to the report commissioned by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

Yet Chula Vista Mayor Shirley Horton wants the university site removed from the study.

The report calls the university site one , but not the only , possible location for a much-needed regional technology park.

Other prospective sites include Santee’s Fanita Ranch, at the junction of state routes 125 and 52, which offers 3,000 acres and quick highway access to UCSD and Sorrento Mesa.

The report also mentions several sites on Otay Mesa, which have quick access to Mexico as one of their selling points.

Biocom/San Diego was another significant report sponsor, said Gary London, president of San Diego-based London Group Realty Advisors, Inc., which prepared the document.

Chula Vista is “pleased” with the interest, Horton said in a prepared statement.

However, she wrote, “I have concerns about how the inclusion of the Otay Ranch future campus site could affect the city’s efforts to attract a university, especially given the consultant did not contact landowners or local jurisdictions before making the recommendation.”

EDC President and CEO Julie Meier Wright, who wrote the study’s preface, acknowledged the concerns.

“Let me stress that if Chula Vista’s priority is a university, the Regional Economic Development Corp. will do all that it can to assist Chula Vista in achieving its goal,” Wright wrote. Horton’s statement acknowledged Wright’s offer to help. “However, any reference to the university site as an industrial land use should be removed from the report,” she said.

The study speaks of a shortage of land ready for industrial parks, and says local leaders should pick a site for a large regional technology park now.

It also urges local leaders to pick sites for smaller “production parks,” which could go up faster and thereby accommodate technology companies ready to start manufacturing their wares.

“It is important to keep them local,” the report states.

Saying the private sector cannot accomplish the work alone, the report states the technology parks should be built through public-private partnerships.

In all, the study lists 19 parcels, each with 200 acres or more, as prospective sites. Property owners were not consulted about their interest in developing a technology park, the report says.

The report says the university site, the nearby Otay properties and the Santee site are the best candidates for the large park.

Good candidates for small parks include Carlsbad Raceway, Oceanside property near Idec Pharmaceuticals’ proposed facilities, 500 acres of Hewlett Packard Co. property along Interstate 15 near Fallbrook, the ConRock site in Kearny Mesa, Otay Ranch Village 3 in Chula Vista and Brown Field on Otay Mesa.

Two more airfields , Ream Field in Imperial Beach and Montgomery Field in Kearny Mesa , are among the other sites of 200 to 400 acres that made the survey.

Also listed were Santee’s Edgemoor Hospital, the Riverwalk golf course and Calmat property, both in Mission Valley, the Carlsbad golf course, 210 acres of the South Poway Business Park, 223 acres of the Escondido industrial area, Oceanside’s El Corazon site, and 305 acres north of the Ramona airport.

Single ownership, as well as projected development costs and the feasibility of bringing the land to market were among the criteria London Group used in selecting the properties.

The study predicts San Diego County’s high-tech industries will add 40,000 jobs in the next 10 years. The number could grow by 64,000 to 105,000 in the next 20 years.

The study calls for a concentrated effort to entitle and improve land in the county, and to improve infrastructure. Otherwise the county will not be able to accommodate the high-tech and biotech industries’ demand, the study says.

Study sponsors, listed at the front of the document, are the county; PG & E; Generating; the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.; Biocom/San Diego; Beckman Properties; Predicate Logic; Chicago Title; Burnham Real Estate; Brian Paul & Associates; McGraw Baldwin Architects; Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison; Project Design Consultants; and Ernst & Young.


Featured Articles


Related Articles