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Chula Vista looks to establish master plan developer for future university, research park

The Chula Vista City Council unanimously approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) on Tuesday with HomeFed Corp. to establish a master plan developer for a future university park and research center.

The project is proposed in the southeast region of the city at an approximately 375-acre undeveloped site. The project also calls for a mix of residential, retail and industrial space to support the university.

“This decision is another significant step in a series of deliberate and responsible steps to lay the foundation for a project that will greatly contribute to the economy and quality of life for Chula Vista, San Diego County and the cross-border region,” Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said. “The city of Chula Vista is now closer to an agreement with HomeFed, a developer that has played a committed and valued role throughout the planning process of this crucial piece of our city’s general growth plan.”

The purpose of the ENA is to provide 90 days to explore and negotiate the terms and conditions of a Management Development Agreement (MDA).

The MDA is anticipated to be the instrument that will define how the university property will be planned, conveyed, controlled and financed in order to secure an institution of higher education and a regional technology park. The MDA will also define the roles, responsibilities and compensation of the master developer and the city.

The city has the final say on whether to approve, disapprove or condition future project agreements and permits. The ENA can be extended for up to two additional 90 day periods at the discretion of the city manager, provided substantial progress is being made on the MDA.

Since the early 1980s, Chula Vista leaders have wanted a university in the South Bay.

In 2007 the city began negotiating with landowners to facilitate the acquisition of land necessary for the future development of the university site.

In 2008, and subsequently amended in 2010, the city entered into two separate Land Offer Agreements. Through a combination of land exchanges and agreements for expedited entitlement processing, the city has reached agreement on how it would assemble the approximately 375 acres of land.

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