press release

City of Chula Vista Gets Closer to Its Dream of a World-Class University

July 11, 2023

SAN DIEGO – The City of Chula Vista is one step closer to realizing its dream of having a world-class university within its city limits. This week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law an exemption from the Surplus Lands Act for the City of Chula Vista's University-Innovation District (UID) development project on approximately 383 acres. Working in partnership with legislative leaders, Senator Steve Padilla (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego) brokered negotiations resulting in this exemption making it possible for the City to advance long standing plans of developing a campus in the mentioned district.

“This project represents a monumental step forward towards addressing a wide array of inequities that South Bay residents face daily,” said Senator Steve Padilla. “Universities offer incredible economic opportunities for the surrounding communities in addition to the increased capacity and access they provide to higher education. This is an investment in the future of this region.”

"We now have the opportunity to create a regional university for the South Bay and open doors to future generations looking for new educational experiences," said Assemblymember David Alvarez. "Individuals with a bachelor's degree have greater earning power and can earn about $32,000 more annually than those with a high school diploma."

“We are grateful for Assemblymember Alvarez and Senator Padilla for helping protect the City’s vision for a 21st century university in the South Bay,” said Chula Vista Mayor John McCann. “After decades of planning and work to secure 383 acres, we are now able to continue negotiations that will advance the University-Innovation District.”

Chula Vista is the only city in California with a population greater than 200,000 residents that does not have a non-profit or state university within its city limits. A South Bay university presence would provide more equitable access to higher education.

The passage of this bill allows the City of Chula Vista to continue negotiations with a master developer to implement the University Innovation District.

David Alvarez with District 80 residents


Sign up to stay up to date on legislation news, events, volunteer opportunity, and town halls.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.