Mayor Faulconer Shares His 2016 Priorities with NAIOP San Diego Event held at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar03/08/16
Mayor Faulconer Shares His 2016 Priorities with NAIOP San Diego
Event held at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar
March 8, 2016
Nurturing cross-border relations, investing in infrastructure and keeping football in San Diego were among hot-button topics Mayor Kevin Faulconer addressed Thursday as he spoke before a packed room of 350 NAIOP San Diego members and guests at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar.
The mayor, in is second-annual organizational address, praised the success of the commercial, industrial and mixed-use real estate industry in helping San Diego’s economy grow—allowing the city to reinvest in long-awaited infrastructure projects, expand library and recreation center hours citywide and dedicate millions to fund housing and services for the city’s veteran homeless population.
“I cannot say it any more clearly: When you are successful, our city is successful,” he said.
Faulconer also applauded his San Diego City Council colleagues for throwing party affiliations aside when voting for “common sense” ideas. Most notably, he pointed to the council unanimously adopting a $3.2 billion budgetin June. It was the first time in years a budget plan had united, bipartisan support.
The budget, thanks to improving revenue projections, sees city spending up 7 percent from the previous fiscal year. Along with investments in public safety to recruit and retain police officers, firefighters and lifeguards, the budget allocates funding to repair and repave San Diego roads. The mayor reiterated his vow to fix 1,000 miles of damaged roads over five years along with improved sidewalks and street lights.
“We do this when our economy is growing and we are doing the right thing. We are seeing our sales tax grow, seeing our property tax grow and our hotel tax grow,” Faulconer told the crowd. “You all are a key driver of not only attracting but also allowing great companies to grow and thrive here in San Diego.”
Faulconer said the city, too, has to make San Diego attractive to businesses. Businesses need to know city permit and approval processes are being streamlined and, whether opening, relocating or expanding, they will get through the system in a timely manner, he said. Part of this is updating outdated community plans to reflect public and industry needs. The city plans to update five such development guidelines this year.
“When someone has the opportunity to invest capital or to expand … I want them to choose San Diego every, single time,” he said mentioning Forbes naming San Diego the best city for a startup in 2014.
In appealing to businesses, Faulconer spoke of the vital cross-border relationship between San Diego and Tijuana—an international border that sees more than 25,000 pedestrians and 50,000 motorists cross daily.
“It isn’t two cities. It isn’t just San Diego or Tijuana,” he said. “This is a mega-region.”
The region has seen growth in the medical-device manufacturing industry in recent years. Faulconer noted there was room for more, but work still needs to be done.
Organizations on both sides of the international border are collectively working to ensure country lines don’t act as economic barriers. Faulconer said reaching this goal, in part, starts with improving transportation where enhancements are being made to cut crossing wait times. Additional motorist lanes have been opened at the San Ysidro crossing and, in December, the nation’s first cross-border airport terminal opened allowing air travelers more ease when coming and going from Tijuana International Airport.
Speaking to another relationship on many Southern Californian’s minds, Faulconer said he is committed to keeping football where it belongs—in San Diego. Be it in downtown or Mission Valley, Faulconer said any Chargers stadium plan had to be fair. He said the city worked hard to turn finances around and voters wouldn’t likely turn a two-thirds majority vote for something they viewed as unfair. Faulconer said he favored a plan of thirds that would see the Chargers, NFL and taxpayers split the cost in threes. He used Petco Park as an example of good change and development that can come from a well-executed plan.
With stadium talks centering on downtown, the future of Qualcomm stadium was called into question. While the mayor was vague about potential development options that could see mixed-use, industrial or university expansion in Mission Valley, he said any change would have to be “something special.”
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