|Following thousands of hours of negotiations with developers and property owners, the City has wrapped up land acquisition efforts in its quest to bring a four-year university to eastern Chula Vista. At its regular meeting Tuesday, May 20, Councilmembers unanimously approved the transfer of 160 acres from JPB Development to the City of Chula Vista. That brings the total acreage for the University Park and Research Center site to approximately 375 acres—a footprint that’s larger than the San Diego State campus.
Total acreage transferred to the City is valued between $250-$300 million. The addition of the final acreage marks the end of land negotiations and the beginning of an intensive period of university and college recruitment.
“We’re on our way,” said an exuberant Mayor Cheryl Cox. “With the completion of the land acquisition, discussions with established universities and colleges can shift into high gear. This is a milestone in our efforts to offer the people of South County new educational opportunities. We’re also excited about the high paying jobs a university and a technology park will create in our city.”
The concept of locating a four-year university in Chula Vista was introduced back in 1993, when the Otay Ranch General Development Plan was adopted. Land acquisition got underway several years ago when 230 acres, some of it open space, were transferred to the City by developers Brookfield Shea and the EastLake Company.
Last month, another 50 acres were acquired from the Otay Land Company. In the agreement, the Otay Land Company pledged two million dollars toward recruitment efforts. The City’s final land deal with JPB Development means the ambitious project can move forward immediately.
In return for the land, the City will allow developers to add more residential units to their existing plans and process their entitlements in a more streamlined way.
Negotiating on behalf of the City of Chula Vista were City Planning and Building Director Jim Sandoval and City Attorney Ann Moore.
In addition to the university and technology park, the city-owned campus will house the prestigious charter school—High Tech High Chula Vista—and a global energy research center. The charter school, which will focus on environmental education, is currently under construction on an eight-acre site at the corner of Hunte Parkway and Discovery Falls Road.
“The university—the people it attracts and the projects it generates—will bring balance to our community,” added Mayor Cox. “Chula Vista will be transformed from a bedroom community into a vibrant urban setting with regional and international connections.”