City Council Votes to Advance HomeTownSD


Supporters testify to the the project’s commitment to the community, say they trust the project team to deliver a transformative neighborhood

SAN DIEGOHomeTownSD cleared a significant hurdle as the San Diego City Council voted to send its proposal to the next phase in the selection process. HomeTownSD and two other teams will continue negotiations with the city for a chance to redevelop the 48-acre property at the Sports Arena.

The City’s real estate assets department had recommended that HomeTownSD be one of three teams to move forward. In a memo to the committee, city staff said HomeTownSD proved to be a top contender with its strong emphasis on affordable and middle-income housing.

Sarah Kruer Jager, project lead for HomeTownSD and Partner at Monarch Group, testified before the city council emphasizing their shared values of commitment, integrity and trust.

“For a project of this magnitude you need a trusted partner – from the initial negotiations to the multi-year execution,” said Kruer Jager. “HomeTownSD came together because of our shared values: Trust. Integrity. Commitment. Our promise is to deliver a project that San Diegans can be proud of.”

Kruer Jager also stressed HomeTownSD’s community outreach, attending dozens of meetings and talking to residents throughout San Diego. She also talked about how working families and creating affordable housing is at the heart of this project, as well as citing the comprehensive labor agreements with 26 local unions.

During the public comment period, a number of HomeTownSD supporters took to the microphone to express their strong support for the project.

Shala Waines, owner and operator of Soul Swap Meet, testified that HomeTownSD and Soul Swapmeet are working toward the goal of Soul Swap Meet having a permanent home in their project. “As a small business owner myself and someone who represents diverse entrepreneurs, I trust that HomeTownSD is focused on our community and the people who make it thrive,” said Waines. “That’s the commitment we need as we redevelop and revitalize the Midway District.”

Soul Swap Meet is an incubator for local entrepreneurs, especially those of color, allowing them to launch and grow their businesses. The council heard from three entrepreneurs who spoke about how Soul Swap Meet provided them an opportunity to build a business.

Residents of Coronado Terrace, an affordable housing complex built by HomeTownSD partner Eden Housing, testified about their positive experience living in Coronado Terrace. They hope that more San Diego residents will be able to live in an Eden community.

“I was so lucky to find this community,” said Eden Resident Lora Mendoza. “You can feel the peace here. The atmosphere and Eden Housing staff are nice and respectful. They have allowed people like me to achieve their dreams.”

“I am grateful to live in a place where the management is so human with all the people,” said Maria Sylvia Arrealo, resident of Coronado Terrace. “Soon I will have custody of my two grandchildren. They are the motors that keep me going. I am so grateful to have a place I can afford to live and raise them. More families deserve to have that chance.”

Beach community leaders joined in with their support for HomeTownSD, including Cathie Jolley, former president of the Pacific Beach Town Council, and Karl Rand, Chair of the Pacific Beach Planning Group. Densie Friedman and John Thickstun expressed their strong support for HomeTownSD.

Long-time Pacific Beach resident Cathie Jolley praised HomeTownSD for their efforts to get community input on the redevelopment proposal. Jolley testified that HomeTownSD was the only team to reach out to her.

“I have been impressed with HomeTownSD’s commitment to our neighborhoods,” said Jolley, a former president of the Pacific Beach Town Council. “Their project considers community character and the impact on local residents. It follows the Midway Community plan. Every decision they have made – from how many units to place on the site, to the size and placement of the arena – considers traffic and environmental impacts on the surrounding area.”

Karl Rand, Chair of the Pacific Beach Planning Group, also spoke in favor of HomeTownSD citing its strong affordable housing numbers and praising HomeTownSD for its community outreach.

Along with having one of the highest housing numbers, HomeTownSD includes a new, world-class arena to be developed by JMI Sports which built Petco Park.

“The arena planned in our proposal will be the perfect fit for San Diego,” said Erik Judson, CEO, JMI Sports. “Our city will have a world class arena integrated into the surrounding community that will spur local economic development. Just as we did with Petco Park, and are doing with the new Aztec Stadium, JMI Sports is looking forward to delivering an arena where San Diegans can support their local teams and see top entertainment talent.”


HomeTownSD is local and women-led. Development partners Monarch, Essex and Eden each possess a unique business model based on stable, multi-decade leadership and long-term investment horizons. Building and sustaining thriving affordable, middle-income and market rate communities for decades is our core competency, passion and exclusive focus. In JMI Sports we have the only arena partner who has developed multiple sports and entertainment facilities in the San Diego market. JMI’s success is built on a depth of experience in conjunction with national and local relationships. Deeply rooted in San Diego, our team is uniquely positioned to deliver a visionary community that will stand the test of time.