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San Diego faces lawsuit over Tailgate Park development at Petco Park

The lawsuit claims the city undersold the property to San Diego Padres development team and the city failed to notify public.

SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego is facing a lawsuit over the sale of Tailgate Park to a development team headed by the San Diego Padres.

A new lawsuit from the advocacy group Project for Open Government says the city failed to get a fair selling price and allowed the development team to skirt the state's affordable housing requirements.

The city council gave its final approval on the sale of Tailgate Park on April 19 for $35.1 million to Padres and partners, Tishman Speyer and Ascendant Capital Partners. 

RELATED: Padres Development Team wins bid to transform Tailgate Park

WATCH RELATED: Padres development team wins bid to develop Tailgate Park (Sept 2020):

The group proposes building several high-rise buildings on the 5.25-acre parking lot next to Petco Park in East Village. The new development, called East Village Quarter, will include 1,800 residential units - 270 of which will be set aside for low and middle-income families. The development also includes 50,000 square feet of commercial and retail space as well as underground parking for more than 1,600 vehicles. 

However, the advocacy group Project For Open Government says it's a raw deal for taxpayers.

In its lawsuit, the group says the city failed to get market value for the East Village land. According to the city appraisal, an appraiser estimated the land was worth $76 million, more than double what the city paid for it. In an April 19 staff report, the city discounted the sale price due to future environmental remediation needed in order to develop the land as well as the installation of parking spots for the nearby area.

The lawsuit also alleges that the city failed to conduct the necessary environmental review and neglected to inform the public of any environmental impacts.

Attorney Cory Briggs, who unsuccessfully ran for City Attorney, represents the advocacy group. Briggs says the deal is another example of the city looking out for developers instead of taxpayers. “Amidst an ongoing affordable-housing emergency, the developer-beholden politicians have given away Tailgate Park for less than fair-market value and without maximizing the number of affordable units for working San Diego families.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor's Office said the office was not aware of the lawsuit and does not comment on pending litigation. 

RELATED: San Diego paid $113 million in overtime in 2021, $89.6 went to police and fire

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