City officials say a plan to transform Balboa Park’s central mesa could jump to as much as $75 million, far more than the 2012 estimate.
This is a guess by city officials and a new estimate will come as construction plans are settled. They blame a three-year-old mandate to pay workers more on city construction projects, new stormwater regulations, building code changes and a more competitive market since the end of the recession for the increased costs.
The fundraising goal for the city and philanthropists who want to get cars out of Balboa Park’s central mesa just got higher.
City officials now estimate it could cost as much as much as $75 million to execute the Plaza de Panama plan, a preliminary guess that’s 67 percent higher than when the project was approved in 2012.
Four years ago, supporters projected they’d need $45 million to transform Balboa Park’s plazas plus build a parking garage and a bypass bridge. Philanthropists were to chip in $31 million and the city would cover the rest by charging fees to park in the new garage.
The City Council’s infrastructure committee on Thursday voted to allow city staffers to spend up to $1 million firming up construction plans, which will give the city a clearer picture of the new cost. The full Council is expected to sign off next month and to weigh in on the financing plan in November.
Katherine Johnston, the mayor’s director of infrastructure and budget policy, told Voice of San Diego the city will soon have more accurate cost estimates, but initial indications point in one direction.