Developer Donahue Schriber spent more than $1 million fighting One Paseo this year while Kilroy Realty Corp. spent almost $2 million to get city and voter support for the mixed-use project that is likely headed for a citywide vote.
Committees filed financial disclosures Thursday for Jan. 1 to March 31 — a critical period for the 1.4-million-square-foot project — from the San Diego City Council’s entitlement approval through campaigns for a referendum and rescission signatures.
Kilroy’s (NYSE: KRC) contributions to its PAC more than tripled those of rival Donahue Schriber, owner of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center, which is adjacent to Kilroy’s vacant lot.
The $650 million One Paseo would be at the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real, the last large vacant developable tract of land in the area.
The City Council will take up the project's entitlements once again May 11 after a referendum campaign successfully submitted enough signatures to force the council to withdraw approval or send the project to a public vote.
Several lawsuits are pending.
A separate Kilroy Realty Corp. lobbyist filing includes contributions totaling $3,250 from nine executives and employees to Cate for Council 2014. The next report for candidates is due July 31. Councilmember Chris Cate made the motion to approve One Paseo in February.
Both developers are headquartered outside San Diego — Kilroy in Los Angeles and Donahue Schriber in Costa Mesa — and each one has repeatedly pointed out during meetings and interviews that his rival is from outside San Diego.
Filings from the period showed Donahue Schriber completely funded its lobbying group with $703,278. Protect San Diego’s Neighborhoods describes itself as a coalition of residents, community planners, taxpayers and small businesses, with major funding from the real estate acquisitions and development firm.
The group spent $1.03 million in the first quarter and reported a debt of $324,635.
Kilroy contributed $2.38 million — which includes a $500,000 loan — to its San Diegans for Jobs and Sustainable Communities, and the committee spent $1.91 million.
The vast majority of the spending went to Kilroy’s counterpetition drive, with Arno Petition Consultants spending $1.4 million starting March 9, according to the filings.
Of that, about $980,000 went to El Cajon-based Victory Consultants and $387,000 to Florida-based Star Petition Group.
Arno describes itself as helping political, corporate and issue-based clients through the initiative and referendum process, and says on its website it has helped 600 issues reach ballots.
Among Kilroy’s reported nonmonetary contributions: $71,750 for education workers via Arno Petition Consultants; $4,125 to Laing Strategic Communications for media relations services; and for consulting services, $15,000 to the Dolphin Group, $10,800 to the Atlantis Group, $17,500 to California Strategies & Advocacy and $15,000 to Presidio Public Affairs Group.
Nonmonetary contributions include goods and services for which less than the fair market value has been paid, discounted services not available to the public, or salaries for those who spend at least 10 percent of their time working for the committee.
Kilroy also paid $10,000 to the Golden State Voter Participation Project for support on the measure.
Among its highest expenditures year to date: $1.38 million to Arno Petition Consultants, $81,325 to Competitive Edge Research & Communication, $300,407 to Amplified Strategies and $10,440 to Oakwood Worldwide for temporary corporate housing.
Optimistically, Kilroy had hoped to break ground on the Carmel Valley project this fall, planning for the first set of buildings — a mix of residential, office and commercial — to open in early 2018.
Upon completion, One Paseo would contain 10 multistory buildings, 608 residential units and underground parking. Already signed on to the project are Pinstripes, a family-friendly bistro with bocce and bowling; True Food Kitchen; and Puesto Mexican Street Food.
Kilroy plans to lease to a specialty grocer, along with high-end stores and several coffee shops.
Donahue Schriber — which paid for signature gatherers to collect 61,235 signatures, with enough eligible to qualify One Paseo for a referendum — hired Southwest Strategies LLC, a public affairs and communications firm specializing in securing government entitlements for complex projects, based downtown.
According to the filings, Southwest Strategies has spent nearly $600,000 toward work to put One Paseo on a ballot, including $462,792 to PCI Consultants Inc., a petition management firm based in Los Angeles; $110,727 for literature and postage from The Monaco Group, Copy to Copy and RR Donnelly; and $12,000 to Jeff Powers for consulting.
Powers is the spokesman for Protect San Diego’s Neighborhoods.
The filing also reported $125,000 worth of petition circulating from Donahue Schriber under its nonmonetary contributions.
Donahue Schriber has also paid the Sutton Law Firm $73,114, and Tom Shepard & Associates Inc. $25,050.