The Carson City Council is considering today whether to take on $50.5 million in debt in the form of bonds to help finish cleaning up the former landfill that's supposed to become the site of a $1.7-billion football stadium (and its lightning tower) proposed jointly by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. The land was once the Cal Compact Landfill and clean-up has been underway for years on the industrial solvents, heavy metals, arsenic, and pesticides that taint the ground there. A 2003 LA Times story said that "Methane leaks are regularly plugged with earth, and extraction wells soon will be installed to vacuum out the gas." The money to finish the job comes from an older deal with the now-defunct Carson Redevelopment Agency that would've put a huge shopping mall on the land, reports the LA Times.
According to environmental officials working for the state, the bulk of the work required to make the site clean enough for construction is done; the site just has to be capped, but that can't be done until precise building locations have been decided. Apparently, capping for for a stadium is a breeze compared to capping for a shopping mall. "When we heard about this proposal, we said, 'Great.' It's way, way easier," says a rep for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, which is in charge of the project.
The process should take about 18 months, but even after capping, there will be additional maintenance. Everyone involved still has to figure out who's on the hook "to pay for long-term operation and maintenance of systems to vent gases from the old landfill."
Meanwhile, there's also a real estate shuffle well underway: the property owners, Starwood Capital, are selling the potential stadium site to the Chargers (they've almost closed the sale), and once that transaction's complete, the team will hand the 168-acre site over to a Carson-run agency tasked with overseeing the stadium. The Chargers and the Raiders would then rent the stadium from that agency. Ultimately, Carson would own the property, so if the stadium doesn't come to fruition, they can sell the land to someone else—there's another shopping mall developer waiting in the wings already. (Many "fine details" of this complex deal still need to be hammered out, officials for Carson have admitted.) The clean-up bonds would be paid back with tax revenue from whatever ends up on the site.
· Carson to consider $50 million in bonds to finish stadium site cleanup [LAT]
· The Raiders and Chargers Just Proposed a Joint NFL Stadium in the Los Angeles Suburbs [Curbed LA]
· Carson Stadium's Redesign Includes 120-Foot-Tall Tower That Shoots Lightning [Curbed LA]
· Giant Boulevards at South Bay Mixed-Use Adds an Outlet Mall [Curbed LA]