The next normal: emerging trends in commercial real estate and the future of the Midway District

Over the last several months, the economic development team has kept a close pulse on the businesses that make up our regional economy – and EDC’s economic development committee has always pivoted to support, by addressing current challenges and changes to our economy.

Where every recovery before this one has widened inequality, EDC is committed to making sure we get this recovery right. During this pivotal moment, through the perspectives of a variety of businesses and stakeholders, the committee is focused on highlighting economic development solutions and charting the path to an inclusive resilient recovery. As we collectively turn to rebuilding our economy, it has never been more important to do so thoughtfully and holistically, with equity as a lens and skilled workers, quality jobs, and thriving households as the core building blocks.

This past September, the committee discussed emerging trends in commercial real estate and the redevelopment of the Midway District.

The Good, The Bad, and The Uncertain

Our discussion began with an informative commercial real estate market update presented by Tom Turner, vice president at CBRE. Tom highlighted emerging industry trends across the San Diego market focusing on potential growth, and concentration of key employees.

Tom noted that major key tenants that are continuing to hire based on advancements of new technologies specifically related to 5G and artificial intelligence, and that tech companies are continuing to support our local industry growth. Also contributing to the potential for regional economic growth are major redevelopment projects underway, specifically around NAVWAR and the Midway District Community Plan.

Opportunities in San Diego’s Midway District

With the timely announcement surrounding the City of San Diego’s selection of the winning development bid for the Sports Arena and Midway district, the committee hosted a panel discussion with regional leaders on future plans for the community and what it will mean for transit, housing and job opportunities.

Dike Anyiwo moderated this discussion. A policy adviser at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce & vice chair of the Midway Pacific Highway Community Planning Group, Anyiwo focused on equitable development for small businesses and how to align the community with future development plans.

Zach Adams, vice president of development at Brookfield Properties, presented on his company’s winning bid and the vision to establish new parks, bring new opportunities for businesses, and offer affordable housing in San Diego’s Midway District.

NAVWAR Executive Director John Pope emphasized the importance of the Navy Old Town Campus Revitalization Project to NAVWAR’s high-tech mission and rapidly growing cyber and information warfare requirements. For NAVWAR, this would be a transformative opportunity to retain thousands of mission-driven tech jobs in the region.

Finally, Hasan Ikhrata, executive director at SANDAG, provided additional details on regional transit development and future goals in the Midway community to greater align opportunities for talent access in San Diego.

Looking ahead

In the months ahead, EDC’s economic development committee will work to highlight recovery-driven economic development solutions, focused on skilled talent, quality jobs, and thriving households.

Please contact Ashley Swartout to share thoughts on future committee topics or ways your organization can support the committee goals.

For more information on the Midway projects, please see the following links:

Please visit Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) for information on the Navy Old Town Campus (OTC) project.

Please visit San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) for alternatives and planning processes.

Learn more about SANDAG’s New Transportation Vision in 5 Big Moves.

Get information on the City of San Diego’s current Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan.

Visit this page for Brookfield & ASM Global’s Midway winning bid.