Midway Rising rendering
A rendering of the Midway Rising plan. Courtesy Safdie Rabines Architects

Mayor Todd Gloria announced Monday that the Midway Rising team is his choice among three finalists to redevelop the city’s aging Sports Arena and run-down adjacent property in the Midway District.

The team is composed of Carlsbad-based affordable apartment developer Chelsea Investment Corp., Encinitas-based market-rate housing partner Zephyr, international arena developer Legends, and the local architectural firm of Safdie Rabines.

“After a transparent process in accordance with state regulations, I am confident Midway Rising will deliver on my vision of creating thousands of new affordable and middle-income homes, good-paying local jobs, and a new world-class arena and entertainment district,” Gloria said. “

“This project represents big-city energy and I look forward to getting this done for the Midway community and our city,” he added. 

The Midway Rising plan features:

  • A total of 4,250 new homes — 2,000 affordable, 250 middle-income, and 2,000 market rate
  • A new 450,000-square-foot arena with capacity for 14,500 to 16,500 people
  • A 200-room hotel and 250,000 square feet of retail space
  • More than 11 acres of park and open space along with a 9.4-acre public plaza. 

Gloria’s recommendation will be presented to the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee in a special meeting on Sept. 8 and then go before the full council on Sept. 13.

The 48-acre site is known for dilapidated warehouses, strip clubs and sprawling parking lots. In 2020 voters agreed to remove a long-standing 30-foot height limit to assist redevelopment, though Measure E faced a legal challenge and a second vote is necessary.

Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer selected another development team led by Brookfield Housing to redevelop the area, but the city was notified in 2021 that the bidding process had likely violated the 2019 Surplus Land Act.

The city began a new bidding process, and in May council voted unanimously to consider just three teams: Midway Rising, HomeTownSD and Midway Village+

“After completing the financial and operational due diligence, it was clear that Midway Rising is not only the team providing the highest number of affordable housing units, but they are also the best partner for the city moving forward,” said Penny Maus, director of real estate and airport management.


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Ellen Bullock