On Wednesday, December 15, Escondido city councilmembers will debate spending $50 million for a new minor-league baseball stadium just north of downtown Escondido.
Before the council engages on the discussion of whether to build the park, they will first decide on whether to allocate $263,579 in additional funds for "ongoing and new" consulting services and whether to set aside $250,000 for a deposit on the proposed location.
In September 2010, city councilmembers and the mayor allocated $373,000 for environmental, financial, legal, and redevelopment work. That money, however, is about to run out. Of the added expenditures, the largest include $75,000 for a study on the feasibility of relocating compressed natural gas filling stations used by the North County Transit District, as well as $40,930 to Helix Environmental for design and project changes.
Following the discussion on consulting fees, the council will decide whether to shell out more money for a deposit on 480 North Spruce Street, the proposed location for the ballpark. In late October, the city laid down a $100,000 nonrefundable deposit on the property. And on Wednesday evening, they will decide whether to put down an additional $250,000 deposit, which will be credited toward the purchase price if escrow closes by the end of the year. If not, the city will lose the deposit.
After both items are heard, considering neither strikes out, then councilmembers will discuss if they should move forward on the project and spend $50 million in redevelopment funds for a ballpark to house a Padres triple-A team.
Developers are on deck looking to be part of the team of contractors hired to build the ballpark. Included in the December 15 staff report is a letter from San Diego–based land-development firm Lankford and Associates.
"A project of this nature will be a catalyst for revitalization and redevelopment of this area," states Robert Lankford in his letter to Escondido city manager Clay Phillips. "I am a strong supporter of this project and believe it will greatly benefit the public, not only the citizens of Escondido but the San Diego region as a whole."