Gateway II,  near Third Avenue and H Street in Chula Vista
  • Gateway II, near Third Avenue and H Street in Chula Vista
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Although the Chula Vista Redevelopment Corporation has come to an end, the legacy of a past redevelopment project continues to play out.

In June of 2011, the U-T published an online story titled “City-subsidized building in Chula Vista faces foreclosure.” The building in question, Gateway II, is an office complex located on H Street in Chula Vista. A November 22, 2012, Daily Transcript article confirmed the building was foreclosed upon last year.

In 2004, as the project was coming to fruition, the Daily Transcript described it this way: “Phase II of Gateway Chula Vista, the $80 million, multiuse commercial office and retail complex and the epicenter of a redevelopment renaissance, is under way in the city's central business corridor. Scheduled for completion in August 2005, Gateway Chula Vista's Phase II marks the continuation of something great happening in Chula Vista.”

The project developer was Jim Pieri.

The 2011 U-T article that first broached the possibility of foreclosure provided additional insight into Gateway II’s curious financial history. Reporter Wendy Fry wrote, “During the past decade, Chula Vista has drastically scaled back services. Meanwhile, it has paid developer Jim Pieri some $2.2 million in redevelopment funds for the mid-rise, upscale office building near Third Avenue and H Street, and a total of $5 million for the entire Gateway development.

“The city hoped to recoup those subsidies by capturing an incremental increase in property-tax revenue at the site. Instead, Pieri has defaulted on the loan, according to an April 29 [2011] San Diego County Recorder document.”

Fry added: “In April, Mayor Cheryl Cox signed an amendment to the development agreement that changed limited liability ownership of the property.”

Cox and Pieri are longtime political allies and in 2002 founded a group called the Chula Vista Urban Development Corporation. Pieri’s online biography describes the corporation as “instrumental in formation of a center city development corporation for the city of Chula Vista known as the CVRC.”

Adjacent to the Gateway complex on H Street, a group called Urbana Cv, LLC, proposes to build a seven-story, 267-apartment unit. Pieri is listed on Bizipedia as an officer of Urbana Cv, LLC.

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Comments

usdbaseball Nov. 25, 2012 @ 12:45 p.m.

Kudos to Governor Brown for abolishing Redevelopment Agencies.

Did Chula Vista governance perform any due diligence on Pieri's company before lending him the money? Third party appraisals; Certified financials statements; TAx Returns; personal guarantees; etc

Complaint needs to be sent to State AG for misuse of public funds

2

aardvark Nov. 26, 2012 @ 2:44 p.m.

Even though I don't live in CV anymore, if I remember correctly, that building is pretty close to the county jail/courthouse. How convenient...

1

Woodchuck Nov. 25, 2012 @ 5:11 p.m.

In Chula Vista, the developers have the upper hand due to campaign contributions needed to win any election. Redevelopment was a sweet payoff for deep pockets but not so good for the residents. Currently, I am concerned about the disconnect between Eastern and Western neighborhoods. Sometimes it feels like we are really two cities. I don't think that branding Chula Vista as an "Urban Orchard" is the answer for economic growth but am willing to reserve judgement.

2

cvres Nov. 25, 2012 @ 8:11 p.m.

Woodchuck--I think you make a good point about the disconnect. i don't think either east or west is doing well right now. I'm not sure either that the redevelopment organization helped Chula Vista become a healthier city. What we need is action on the part of the council that is for Chula Vista not for getting palms greased.

3

Pancho Nov. 26, 2012 @ 11:56 a.m.

I don't believe Cox and Pieri are political allies. At least, I don't believe they have been since Cox ran against Padilla for Mayor in 2006. I would like to see all the money disbursed through the CV Redevelopment Department and what projects most benefitted from it.

1

joepublic Nov. 26, 2012 @ 7:53 p.m.

Mr. Pieri, who has defaulted on his Gateway II project loan, has now been granted another loan for an apartment project? So much for credit scores. I guess it's who you know that really matters.

0

Sjtorres Nov. 26, 2012 @ 11:38 p.m.

Wonder if this guy is buds with David Malcolm?

1

VigilantinCV Nov. 27, 2012 @ 2:29 p.m.

Pancho -- you are misinformed -- Cox and Pieri are loyal allies. Padilla sort of tricked Pieri into cancelling Espanada -- Pieri never forgave Padilla. And yes, both Cox and Pieri are good buddies with David Malcolm.

2

Pancho Dec. 9, 2012 @ 7:20 p.m.

perhaps you are misinformed as well

1

bvagency Nov. 27, 2012 @ 4:31 p.m.

Where to begin with the questionable sometimes idiotic decisions made in this City of ours. Gateway II - what a disaster. Had a client with a restaurant here. He was promised a 95% occupancy rate in the building. Its never even come close. Thank goodness for the DA's office or it would be empty. So much for tax revenue being generated! What about the 3rd Ave improvements between H and E Streets. I know not a lot of City money is not being used, but is one lane each way, slower traffic, wider side walks and a center median really going to drive more business into the area? Make it a destination? I own a business here, and i hope so - but i seriously doubt it.
And judging by the article in this same paper about another Otay Ranch Mall business closing, East and West CV may not be too different after all, at least from a business perspective.

2

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