A 4.5-acre plot of land targeted by Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) owner Jeff Moorad for development adjacent to a new Escondido ballpark will instead be acquired by the city and could be used as part of a high-tech business park should ballpark plans fall through.
Moorad’s reps had negotiated a purchase of the land for $6.6 million and had even put down a deposit on the transaction. However, the city will step in to complete the purchase using the same sales terms and reimbursing the Moorad group for its deposit.
The outlook for a new Escondido ballpark is murky: while there’s the framework of a deal in place, no final contracts have been signed thanks to uncertainty surrounding the future of the state’s economic-redevelopment funds. At one time the General Assembly voted down a proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown to seize all city and county economic-development proceeds to fund basic services, but the proposal refuses to die as lawmakers and the governor remain deadlocked in an effort to balance the state budget. Even if economic-development funds remain untouched the Escondido ballpark project is a challenge: the ballpark site faces unknown remediation issues and the city’s economic-development fund is tapped out until 2014.
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