Centre City Development Corporation

Centre City Development Corporation

The Centre City Development Corporation is a public, non-profit corporation created by the City of San Diego in 1975 to staff and implement Downtown redevelopment projects and programs.


The corporation serves on behalf of the San Diego Redevelopment Agency as the catalyst for public-private partnerships to facilitate redevelopment projects adopted pursuant to redevelopment law. Through an operating agreement, CCDC is the Agency's representative in the development of retail, residential, office, hotel, cultural and educational projects and public improvement projects. Each of CCDC's seven-member "board of directors is appointed by the Mayor and City Council" to three year terms.

California Community Redevelopment Law

The California Community Redevelopment Law, contained in the California Health and Safety Code beginning with Section 33000 et seq., was adopted in 1962 to provide cities and counties with the authority, scope and financial means to stimulate the mitigation of blighting conditions in urban areas. The law outlines procedures to determine what development, reconstruction and rehabilitation is needed and desirable. It also defines the financial tools, legal authority and citizen participation necessary to successfully implement adopted plans. The law is designed to promote an improved and safer neighborhood environment and a restoration of community pride.


With its decision to create CCDC in 1975, the City of San Diego acted on its commitment to reverse the area's then physical, social and economic decline, and to create jobs, increase business activity and tax revenues. That commitment developed a livable and vibrant downtown community.

Since then, over $7.5 billion has been invested in downtown from redevelopments; $898.5 million public investment. Carefully targeted retail, residential and office developments, public improvements and more resulted. Today, more than 75,000 people work downtown and more than 30,000 live in the area. Thousands more come downtown daily to conduct business, shop, dine, attend cultural, educational and entertainment events, and to enjoy the waterfront. Those numbers are increasing with each passing year.

Area History

Its prominence on the harbor and access to Pacific Rim countries long ago determined that downtown San Diego would become the urban heart of this region. Beginning with the building of a wharf at the foot of Fifth Avenue to accommodate trade and commerce, Alonzo Horton assured that the 960 "barren, sunburnt desert" acres he purchased in 1867 for 27.5 cents/acre would flourish.

Early in this century developers and business people such as John Spreckels, George Marston and Efrem Morris continued to develop a strong sense of what this downtown would become. Major events also played a significant role in shaping the area, including two world wars, international expositions and the opening of the Panama Canal.

Soon after mid-century, however, Centre City began to experience a decline due to the growth then occurring in suburban areas. By the late 1960s, Centre City properties could not generate enough tax revenue to cover basic city services such as police and fire protection. It was evident that deterioration and decay had entered San Diego's urban heart.


In 1972, then-mayor, and former California Governor, Pete Wilson, outlined an aggressive program for revitalizing this physically and economically blighted downtown. His goals included drawing retail and commercial business and residents back to the area, and creating a strong job base and regional government hub. California's Community Redevelopment Law provided the major tools.

Wilson and the City Council created CCDC to focus on solutions. This public nonprofit corporation began with convert|325|acre|km2 in four redevelopment projects -- Horton Plaza, Marina, Columbia and Gaslamp Quarter. On behalf of the City and Redevelopment Agency, CCDC facilitated the public/private partnerships necessary to turn the area around. Responsibilities also included strategic planning, urban design, property acquisition and relocation programs, public improvements and public financing for downtown projects.

Eventually, San Diegans and visitors today enjoy the beauty and amenities of this downtown on the bay. With 31 years and an investment of $898.5 million in public monies, redevelopment leveraged $7.5 billion in private developments. As a result, annual sales tax, hotel room tax and property tax escalated nearly $116.3 million. Over 26,000 permanent jobs were created and 33,400 construction jobs. New and expanded businesses now thrive here.

Future Plans

Current Mayor Jerry Sanders and today's City Council invite continued progress. Adoption in 1992 of the Centre City Redevelopment Project (CCRP) merged three of the original four project areas and expanded CCDC's area of responsibility to include almost all of Centre City's convert|1500|acre|km2. Commercial and residential development is envisioned to accommodate over 50,000 residents and 150,000 jobs by the year 2025. [http://www.sandiegoartandsol.com/ San Diego Art and Sol] ]

More than just physical improvements are being confronted, however. "The Social Issues Strategy, crafted by CCDC and the downtown community working together, acknowledges that "success can only be achieved if the effects of homelessness and crime are addressed", as well.

Eventually, there may be room for more neighborhood parks and open space, infrastructure improvements and the long-sought landscaped connection between Balboa Park and San Diego Bay. Based on the Community Plan approved in March 2006, Centre City will add seven new parks and two new fire stations over the next ten years. [http://www.sdhc.net/FirstTime&MCC&SharedEquity/CCDCProgramGuidelines.pdf CCDCProgramGuidelines.pdf] ]


External links

* [http://www.ccdc.com Official Website]

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