SAN DIEGO (CNS) - City officials on Thursday proposed creating an assessment district in which area hotels will pay for the planned expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.
The plan, developed by Mayor Jerry Sanders, the Convention Center Board of Directors and hoteliers, would levy a 3 percent assessment on each room night for downtown hotels. Those in Mission Valley or around Mission Bay would be charged 2 percent, and more outlying facilities 1 percent.
"As I have said from the very beginning, the expansion of our Convention Center should be paid for by those who will benefit from it," Sanders said. "Given that the hospitality industry stands to gain substantially, it's only logical that they should fund a significant portion of this."
The current price estimate for the expansion, scaled down from earlier versions, is $550 million, according to the mayor's office. City officials said the assessment district is expected to raise about $28 million to $30 million annually to pay for debt service.
More funding sources are needed to pay for the project. The mayor said he hopes to finalize a financing package by the end of the year.
Floor space would increase by 961,187 square feet to more than 2.75 million square feet. The square footage of meeting rooms and ballrooms would double under the plan.
The mayor's office believes an expanded Convention Center will increase hotel-room nights by 657,000 each year and produce $121 million in new revenue annually. It estimates the city will reap an additional $16 million in hotel tax revenue.
The National Weather Service is predicting rain around San Diego County this week, potentially heavy rain on Thursday. People in unincorporated areas can get free sandbags at numerous locations to help them protect their homes, properties and communities.
Rain showers are expected to reach San Diego County Thursday, but the brunt of a big storm impacting much of Southern California will miss San Diego County and instead hit north of here.
Two more schools face threats Thursday morning in Vista and city leaders are taking new action to stop them.
The debate over dockless bikes rolled into Pacific Beach as the Town Council held a panel Wednesday night with bike and scooter sharing companies: Bird, LimeBike, ofo and Mobike.
Tieray Jones walked out of jail a free man Wednesday night just hours after a judge decided to not re-try him in the death of his stepson nearly 16-years ago.
DMV officers were out Wednesday, looking for people abusing the system. One woman was in tears as she was caught using a handicap placard issued to her adult son - who wasn't with her on the shopping trip.
A Serra High School freshman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of scrawling a threat about a school shooting in a restroom at the Tierrasanta campus.
News 8's investigation into high water bills across the city of San Diego continues. Months after we received our first complaint, viewers are still emailing us about the problem.