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.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.
A crash on an Oceanside freeway Saturday morning left two cars on their roofs and sent one person to a hospital, a fire official
Cooler weekend for the County due to a low pressure trough moving through the Great Basin. Weak and shallow marine layer may still be slow to clear.
A stretch of road in National City was shut down briefly after a large crowd took to the streets to celebrate the Mexico national soccer team's 2-1 victory over South Korea today in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The San Diego Humane Society today urged residents to volunteer their homes as foster spaces for the influx of animals typically lost after Fourth of July.
A man was critically injured Friday night when he chased a ball into the street and was hit by a car.
Clayton Richard pitched three-hit ball over six innings for his fourth consecutive win and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Friday night.
A powerful show of support for migrants being held in detention facilities has hundreds of interfaith leaders gathered Friday night for a vigil and demonstration at the border.